Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Compass, in partnership with the Lake Worth Playhouse, Joins Nationwide Productions and the first in Florida of Landmark Marriage Equality Play by Academy Award-Winning Screenwriter of Milk & J. Edgar.

Lake Worth, FL– On September 14th, Compass and the Lake Worth Playhouse, with license from the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) and Broadway Impact, is proud to present the first  one-night-only staged reading in Florida of “8,” a play chronicling the historic trial in the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8, written by Academy Award-winning screenwriter and AFER Founding Board Member Dustin Lance Black.

“8” is an unprecedented account of the Federal District Court trial in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the case filed by AFER to overturn Proposition 8, which stripped gay and lesbian Californians of the fundamental freedom to marry.

 Black, who penned the Academy Award-winning feature film Milk and the film J. Edgar, based “8” on the actual words of the trial transcripts, first-hand observations of the courtroom drama and interviews with the plaintiffs and their families.  

The performance, acquired by Compass to kick off its 25th Anniversary year, is the only reading of “8” in south Florida and will be followed by a post-show talkback session facilitated by Tony Plakas, Compass’ CEO.  “Our goal in bringing this play to south Florida is to educate the public that marriage equality is an integral part of social justice in this community,” said Plakas.  “We are thrilled to partner with The Lake Worth Playhouse, whose goal is to align quality entertainment through artistic expression with volunteerism and community involvement.”

“8” had its much-heralded Broadway world premiere on September 19, 2011, at the sold-out Eugene O’Neill Theatre in New York City.  The production brought in over $1 million to support AFER’s efforts to achieve full federal marriage equality.  

“People need to witness what happened in the Proposition 8 trial, if for no other reason than to see inequality and discrimination unequivocally rejected in a court of law where truth and facts matter,” said AFER Founding Board Member Dustin Lance Black.  “The goal of ‘8’ is to show the world that marriage equality is a basic constitutional right.  The facts are on our side and truth always finds the light.  AFER and Broadway Impact are doing all we can to help speed that process along.” 

The story for “8” is framed by the trial’s historic closing arguments in June 2010, and features the best arguments and testimony from both sides.  Scenes include flashbacks to some of the more jaw-dropping moments of trial. 

On February 7, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a landmark decision upholding the historic August 2010 ruling of the Federal District Court that found Proposition 8 unconstitutional.  The Ninth Circuit concluded: “Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.  The Constitution simply does not allow for laws of this sort.”

The cast will include Trent Steele, a local attorney and Palm Beach County Human Rights Council board member, Michael Woods, M.Ed. a Palm Beach County school teacher and Compass Board Member, Jason Parsley the Editor-in-Chief South Florida Gay News, Julie Seaver, Compass’ Director of Development, Michael McKeich Board President of the Lake Worth Playhouse, Ricky “Rollick” Klimas and many other Playhouse and Compass supporters.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit