LGBT Center presents staged reading of documentary play ‘8’

Ryan Morris

The LGBT Center will host a staged reading of Dustin Lance Black’s “8,” a documentary play chronicling the drama of the Perry v. Schwarzenegger court case regarding same-sex marriage in California on March 26.

This is the same day the Supreme Court will hear the oral arguments for Hollingsworth v. Perry, a court case that resulted from lawsuits filed after the California constitutional amendment voted into law in 2008 that states the only legally recognized marriage in California is between a man and a woman.

Black was in court during the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case and took firsthand observations, interviewed the plaintiffs and used court records to construct his play. 

Mark Rasdorf, the LGBT Center graduate assistant, proposed the idea to host the play, and sophomore Luke White said he jumped at the   opportunity.

“It’s a really unique opportunity to present it as history being written,” said White, a theatre arts major.

The LGBT Center held open auditions for the play, and no previous stage experience was required.

“We have freshmen all the way to grad students  [auditioning] – it’s a really comprehensive slice of our student population,” White said.

Sophomore David Rudow plays Paul, part of a gay couple fighting for their rights. Rudow heard about the auditions through a friend and fliers around campus.  

While Rudow, an interdisciplinary studies major, has been in other stage pieces before, this is his first staged reading and his first experience working with the LGBT Center, although he has strong feelings about this issue.

“I think that LGBT rights are of paramount importance,” Rudow said. “It really amazes me that two men or two women cannot get married. It doesn’t affect anybody but them. People say that it will destroy the institution of marriage, but they said the same thing about interracial marriage.”

Senior Daniel Szymczyk, who is co-directing the play, said he thinks the Supreme Court decision is an opportunity to spread awareness about LGBT rights.

“If we represent our country as LGBT-friendly and having LGBT rights fully, other countries might follow, and this legislation is a really big part of that,” Szymczyk, a technical photography major, said.

Rudow said he hopes people will be inspired into action after seeing the play.

“At the least I hope that people will come out stronger in their conviction that gays and lesbians have the right to get married,” he said.

“8” takes place March 26 at 7 p.m. in the Parkway Ballroom of Plemmons Student Union. Admission to the performance is free to everyone.

Story: LOVEY COOPER, Senior A&E Reporter