Rensselaer To Debut Stage Reading of the Play 8
Members of the Rensselaer campus and local community are invited to attend the one-night performance of the critically acclaimed documentary play 8, written by Academy Award-winner Dustin Lance Black (Milk and J. Edgar). The performance will take place at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall Friday, March 22, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
The play is based on the trial of Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the federal court case for marriage for gay and lesbian Americans, and incorporates the actual words of the Perry trial transcripts, first-hand observations of the courtroom drama, and interviews with the plaintiffs and their families. The characters in the play include the key participants in the Federal District Court case, now known as Perry v. Brown.
The play—presented by the RPI Community Advocates and the Pride Center of the Capital Region—is directed by award-winning actor, director, and producer Aaron Holbritter. The 21-member cast includes Rensselaer students and staff, and several actors and community members from the Capital Region. Special guest cast members are: Ross Levi, former Empire State Pride Agenda executive director and a key player in New York State’s own struggle for marriage equality; Ulysses deArmas, associate director of admissions at Rensselaer and a Pride Center Board Member; and local WNYT news anchor Benita Zahn.
“By reflecting on the shared goal of the Community Advocates to prepare Rensselaer students for global citizenship by promoting an understanding and appreciation for diversity and inclusivity, this performance serves as an ideal way to support their efforts and create awareness and dialogue on campus.”
“The effort to coordinate this performance began nearly a year ago,” said Cynthia Smith, assistant dean of students, and director of pipeline initiatives and partnerships.
“As a community of learners, the Dean of Students Office is committed to an educational experience that is interactive and engaging for students, and I recall watching the show when it was staged for an online audience,” Smith said. “I was truly moved, and felt that it was something to bring to campus that would involve the campus community. Most important, by reflecting on the shared goal of the Community Advocates to prepare Rensselaer students for global citizenship by promoting an understanding and appreciation for diversity and inclusivity, this performance serves as an ideal way to support their efforts and create awareness and dialogue on campus.”
Following the performance, a brief panel discussion regarding the impact of Proposition 8, which rewrote the California state constitution to add a ban on marriage for gay and lesbian citizens, and the trial on the nationwide issue of marriage equality will take place.
Advance tickets are available for $3. Individuals may purchase tickets from the Dean of Students Office in Academy Hall, room 4629, and on the Pride Center website at www.capitalpridecenter.org. On the day of the performance, tickets may be purchased at the door for $5.
For more information, contact Cynthia Smith, assistant dean of students and director of pipeline initiatives and partnerships, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (518) 276-3098.