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MAPA to highlight fight for marriage equality.

November 15, 2012
The Maui Weekly

Maui Academy of Performing Arts (MAPA) will present the reading of an important new work that brings the struggle for equal marriage rights powerfully to the stage.

Written by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black ("Milk," "J. Edgar"), "8" seeks to demystify the debate around marriage equality.

"8" is based on the highly debated 2010 trial which ruled that Proposition 8, the 2008 amendment to California's State Constitution making same-sex marriages illegal, was unconstitutional. Against the wishes of the plaintiffs and the judge, the state sealed all video of the trial from public view--but could not censor the transcripts.

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Since its Broadway debut last year, “8” has been performed over 300 times by theatre companies nationwide.

Using actual court transcripts, media coverage, and interviews of the participants and experts in the case, "8" is a word-for-word account of the trial. Audiences will have the opportunity to watch both sides present the best evidence, arguments and witnesses for and against marriage for gay and lesbian Americans.

These performances are particularly timely since the U.S. Supreme Court just announced that it will consider whether to grant reviews of several cases regarding Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) at the Justices' private Conference scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 20.

"As with many sensitive topics, live theatre offers audiences the opportunity to engage with these subjects in a safe, thoughtful environment," explained David Johnston, MAPA's executive and artistic director. "Our goal is to bring the Maui community together to shed light on the very personal stories attached to this important issue."

Since its Broadway debut last year, "8" has been performed over 300 times by theatre companies nationwide, including its star-studded West Coast premiere which was directed by Rob Reiner and featured George Clooney, Martin Sheen and a host of other Hollywood actors.

MAPA's staged reading will take place on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 16 and 17, at 7:30 p.m. at Steppingstone Playhouse in Queen Ka'ahumanu Center, with all net proceeds going to the American Foundation for Equal Rights (

Audience members are invited to stay for a post-show, mediated, town-hall-style meeting with Director Jones and cast members.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students under 18. Call 244-8760 or visit Tickets are also available at the customer service kiosk at Queen Ka'ahumanu Center.



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