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PlayMakers Repertory Company and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill department of dramatic art will present a one-night-only staged reading of “8,” a new play chronicling the historic trial in the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8, in April.

The performance on April 9 is at 7:30 p.m. in the Paul Green Theatre in UNC’s Center for Dramatic Art. Admission is free, but tickets are required. To make advance reservations, or for more information, call the PlayMakers box office, (919) 962-7529, or visit www.playmakersrep.org.

In 2008, voters in California passed Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in the state. In 2010, that amendment was ruled unconstitutional in the historic Perry vs. Schwarzenegger trial. Combining trial testimony and interviews with the participants, “8” explores both sides of the debate surrounding marriage equality.

A cast of professional actors, students and community members will tackle this controversial issue in a reading of the play written by Dustin Lance Black (“Milk,” “J Edgar”). PlayMakers and the dramatic art department will present the reading by special arrangement and with permission from the American Foundation for Equal Rights and Broadway Impact. Private gifts to the dramatic art department are making the performance possible.

The reading is the southeast premiere of a nationwide series of readings that began on Broadway in September 2011 and will continue with the West Coast premiere, starring George Clooney, on March 3. To learn more, visit www.8theplay.com.

PlayMakers, the professional theater in residence at UNC-Chapel Hill, is based in the College of Arts and Sciences. The Drama League of New York has named PlayMakers one of the best regional theaters in America and The Independent Weekly calls PlayMakers the best live theater company in the Triangle.

UNC-Chapel Hill’s department of dramatic art was established in 1925, making it the second oldest theater department in the country. It counts among its graduates many alumni distinguished in the world of theater and beyond.

The American Foundation for Equal Rights is the sole sponsor of the Perry case. After bringing together Theodore B. Olson and David Boies to lead its legal team, the foundation  successfully advanced the Perry case through federal District Court to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled in the foundation’s favor earlier this month. The case may advance to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Broadway Impact is a non-profit organization of theatre artists and fans mobilized in support of marriage equality. Founded in 2008 by Tony-nominated performers Rory O’Malley (“Book of Mormon”), Gavin Creel (“Hair”) and production coordinator Jenny Kanelos, Broadway Impact works to educate and inspire the theatre community into action.

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