A slew of stars have signed on for the previously announced one-night-only staged reading of Dustin Lance Black's new play 8. Directed by Joe Mantello, the cast will include Anthony Edwards, Morgan Freeman, Cheyenne Jackson, Christine Lahti, Rob Reiner, Yeardley Smith and Marisa Tomei. The world premiere reading of the play takes place September 19 at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre. Additional casting will follow shortly.
The play follows the final days of the federal legal challenge to California's Proposition 8, which eliminated the right for gay and lesbian couples to marry in California. Black wrote 8 based on the actual trial transcripts and first-hand observations of the courtroom drama and interviews with plaintiffs and families. The show features arguments and testimony from both sides of the issue.
Edwards is best known for his Emmy-nominated turn as Dr. Mark Greene on ER. His many film credits include Zodiac, Top Gun, Miracle Mile, Flipped and Motherhood.
Freeman earned a Tony nomination for The Mighty Gents and also appeared on Broadway in The Country Girl and The Gospel at Colonus. His many film credits include his Oscar-winning turn in Million Dollar Baby as well as his additional nominations for The Shawshank Redemption, Invictus, Driving Miss Daisy and Street Smart.
Jackson's Broadway credits include All Shook Up, Finian's Rainbow, Aida, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Xanadu. He has also appeared on TV's 30 Rock, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Glee and Ugly Betty.
Lahti has appeared on Broadway in God of Carnage, The Heidi Chronicles, Present Laughter, Scenes and Revelations and Division Street. She won an Oscar for Lieberman in Love and an Emmy for Chicago Hope.
Reiner's acting and directing credits include All in the Family, A Few Good Men, This is Spinal Tap, Misery, Stand By Me, The Princess Bride and The American President.
Smith is best known for providing the voice of Lisa Simpson on TV's The Simpsons. She has appeared on Broadway in The Real Thing and currently stars in off-Broadway's Love, Loss and What I Wore.
Tomei's Broadway credits include Top Girls, Salome and Wait Until Dark. She earned an Oscar for My Cousin Vinny and also received nominations for The Wrestler and In the Bedroom.
After the New York performance, the American Foundation for Equal Rights and Broadway Impact will make 8 available to schools and community organizations nationwide in order to evoke action and dialogue on the issue of marriage equality.