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A Proposition

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8, a live-action docudrama by screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Milk), was originally produced in New York and Los Angeles, with an all-star cast that included Martin Sheen, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Bacon, Jamie Lee Curtis, and George Clooney.

Black's script, pieced together from courtroom transcripts and media interviews, is a selective oral history of Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the trial that overturned Proposition 8, California's "marriage protection act," and it seemed like everybody in Hollywood wanted to connect with this one-of-a-kind theatrical event.

Walk Hard actor John C. Reilly was asked to switch roles when Brad Pitt signed on to play the judge, a personnel shift that pushed director Rob Reiner out of the cast entirely.

Reiner joked with reporters at the time, saying he had to "take one for the team."

The Emerald Theatre Company's staged reading of 8 is short on big-name celebrities, but with 19 contributing performers, it's one of the biggest casts in ETC history.

"This year marks ETC's 16th year at TheatreWorks, and we're very proud of that," says Hal Harmon, co-artistic director of ETC. "What we want most of all is to get some people in for this one-night-only event who have never been to an ETC show. And let's make more people aware of the struggle."

All proceeds from ETC's production of 8 go to the American Foundation for Equal Rights, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and advancing equal rights in America.

"8," at Theatreworks, Saturday, September 22nd, 8 P.M. $15.

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