Brad Pitt and Anjelina Jolie have shown that actors aren’t all just rich, privileged, self-indulgent buffoons.  Pitt’s work in New Orleans is well-reported, as is Jolie’s work on behalf of the United Nations.

Pitt recently took part in the West Coast premiere reading of the play 8. The reading is an unprecedented account of the Federal District Court trial in Perry v. Schwarzenegger (now Perry v. Brown), the case filed by The American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) to overturn Proposition 8, which stripped gay and lesbian Californians of the fundamental freedom to marry.

Presented by AFER and Broadway Impact, the performance was streamed live on YouTube at 7:45 p.m. PST, March 3.  Prior to the show, Rob Reiner, director of Saturday’s performance, recorded a video explaining the reading of the play and inviting people to watch the live stream.  The West Coast premiere reading of 8 and Rob Reiner’s video can both be viewed here.

The play is written by Academy Award-winning screenwriter and AFER Founding Board Member Dustin Lance Black.  Bryan Singer is Saturday night’s presenting sponsor.  The benefit event will support the fight to secure full federal marriage equality.

Black based 8 on the actual words of the trial transcripts, first-hand observations of the courtroom drama and interviews with the plaintiffs and their families.

Pitt joins George Clooney, Martin Sheen, Christine Lahti, Jamie Lee Curtis, Matthew Morrison, Matt Bomer, Kevin Bacon, Jane Lynch, John C. Reilly, Campbell Brown, Chris Colfer, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, gay rights activist Cleve Jones, Rory O’Malley, George Takei, Yeardley Smith, Vanessa Garcia, Jansen Panatierre, James Pickens, Jr. and Bridger Zadina.

8 had its much-heralded Broadway world premiere reading on September 19, 2011, at the sold-out Eugene O’Neill Theatre in New York City.  The benefit brought in over $1 million to support AFER’s efforts to achieve full federal marriage equality.


–Ken Choy



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