Ellen Barkin
(© Tristan Fuge)
Ellen Barkin
(© Tristan Fuge)
Ellen Barkin, Jayne Houdyshell, Kate Shindle, and Stephen Spinella are the latest stars to join the cast of 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, to be offered on September 19 at Broadway's Eugene O'Neill Theatre.

As previously reported, Joe Mantello will direct the performance and the cast will also feature Bob Balaban, Matt Bomer, Campbell Brown, Anthony Edwards, Morgan Freeman, Cheyenne Jackson, Larry Kramer, Christine Lahti, John Lithgow, Rory O'Malley, Rob Reiner, Yeardley Smith and Bradley Whitford, along with K. Todd Freeman, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Ken Leung and Ben Rosenfield. Marisa Tomei has had to withdraw from the reading due to a film scheduling conflict.

Characters in the play, which will be taken from trial transcripts, will 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.

The evening will benefit the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), which financed the federal court challenge to Proposition 8. Following the reading on Broadway, AFER and Broadway Impact, an organization co-founded by Gavin Creel and Rory O'Malley, will license 8 to schools and community organizations nationwide.

For more information about how an organization can produce the piece, click here.

For more information and tickets to the Broadway reading, click here.