• Print
Campus Life

Historic Recreation of Proposition 8 Case to be Performed at Pacific

Open auditions being held at the end of January
by Patrick GiblinJan 18, 2013

"8 - The Play," a drama about the court fight over California Proposition 8 which was overturned by a federal judge and has been appealed to the Supreme Court for arguments in March, will be performed at University of the Pacific.

Proposition 8 stated that "only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." It was approved by California voters in 2008, but was immediately challenged on the grounds that California's Constitution guarantees equality for all. The play is based on courtroom transcripts and other source materials and is considered to be a historically accurate representation of the court fight.

Auditions for roles in the play will be held on Jan. 28. The play will be performed at Pacific on April 8.

"This play is an accurate recreation of a historic court case, a case that may be one of the most closely watched in modern times," said Steve Jacobson, associate vice president for student life. "Besides the fact that we will perform this one week after the Supreme Court hears arguments on the proposition, the case also happens to have numerous connections to Pacific, so it's even more relevant to be performed here as many of the ideas presented by both sides of the case may have originated at Pacific."

The attorney who filed the lawsuit to overturn Proposition 8 is Ted Olson, a 1962 graduate of College of the Pacific. The attorney who is defending the Proposition is Andy Pugno, a 1999 graduate of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law. The Supreme Court Justice who many pundits believe will be the "swing vote" on the case is Judge Anthony Kennedy, a long-time Pacific McGeorge faculty member. And the author of the play is Academy Award-winning writer Dustin Lance Black,  who was keynote speaker at Pacific's Western Regional Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trangender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, and Ally (LGBTQIA) conference in February 2012.

Black said he wrote the play after reading the court room transcripts while he also was doing research on the script for Clint Eastwood's film "J. Edgar." Black has said the play is based on transcripts from court room testimony, from interviews given by the parties involved in the court fight, and from personal observations from people who were in the court during the legal fight.

An information session and auditions for roles in the play will be held at 7 p.m. Jan. 28 in the Drama 1 Classroom of the DeMarcus Brown Studio Theater Building. Auditions are open to students, faculty and staff. The performance will be a staged reading, which means that the actors will have their scripts in front of them during the performance, but rehearsals will be held to help develop the characters, better understand the themes and issues of the play, and create an entertaining and engaging public event. Approximately 20 actors will be needed for the show. Volunteers also will be needed to help with other aspects of producing the play.

Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman is among the local dignitaries invited to participate as walk-on readers. Eggman, who will play Dr. Segura, will read a short monologue during the presentation. Eggman was elected in November 2012 to represent the 13th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Stockton, Tracy, Thornton and Mountain House. She is an associate professor of social work at California State University, Sacramento, and she has taken a leave of absence to serve in the State Assembly.

The play will be performed at 7 p.m. April 8 in the Long Theatre. It will be directed by Assistant Professor Macelle Mahala. It is sponsored by Pacific's Humanities Center, Gender Studies, Phi Beta Kappa, Pride Alliance, and the Division of Student Affairs. 

For more information about the play, visit http://www.8theplay.com/