Joe Mantello
(© Tristan Fuge)
Joe Mantello
(© Tristan Fuge)
Tony Award winner Joe Mantello will direct a benefit reading of 8, a new play based on the Proposition 8 trial over same-sex marriage in California, written by Academy Award winner Dustin Lance Black on September 19 at Broadway's Eugene O'Neill Theatre. The evening will benefit the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which financed the federal court challenge to Proposition 8. Casting will be announced at a later date.

Characters in the play, which will be taken from trial transcripts, will reportedly include Theodore B. Olson and David Boies, the lawyers for the two gay couples who sued California over the ban; Charles J. Cooper, the lead defense counsel; Kristin M. Perry and Sandra B. Stier, a lesbian couple who were among the plaintiffs; and the judge, Vaughn R. Walker of the Federal District Court for the Northern District of California.

Future readings across the country will be produced by Broadway Impact, which was co-founded by Gavin Creel and Rory O'Malley.

Black is best known for his screenplay for Milk, for which he won the Academy Award.

Mantello's many directorial credits include Assassins, Wicked, and Other Desert Cities. As an actor, he recently starred in the Broadway production of The Normal Heart, for which he received a Tony Award nomination and a Drama Desk Award.

For tickets and information, visit www.aferorg/broadway8.