KEENE, N.H. – The night before the vote will occur on HB 437, which is the
bill to repeal marriage equality in NH, the Redfern Arts Center at Keene
State College will produce a staged reading of “8." Dustin Lance Black, the
Academy Award winning screenwriter of the film Milk and J. Edgar, took 3600
pages of Prop 8 trial transcript and created a 90-minute production using
the actual words of trial participants.

A staged reading of “8” will be presented ONE NIGHT ONLY on Tuesday, March
20 at 7 p.m. in the Redfern’s Main Theatre. There will be a pre-show
reception in the Redfern lobby at 6 p.m. and a brief post-show discussion
following the reading. Admission is free, but tickets are required. For
tickets, contact the Box Office at 603-358-2168 or e-mail For more information, visit

Black, who in addition to Milk penned the critically-acclaimed 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.

“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 Black, a
founding board member of AFER, which brought the lawsuit to overturn
Proposition 8.

On February 7, the federal appeals court ruling that upheld Proposition 8
was determined to be unconstitutional because it deprives gay and lesbian
couples of the equal right to wed. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
decision pushed the gay marriage issue a step closer to the U.S. Supreme
Court because Proposition 8 backers are expected to continue legal
challenges. Here in New Hampshire, legislators are considering repealing the
state’s same-sex marriage law enacted in 2009.

Shannon Mayers is producing and acting in the staged reading, directed by
Keene State theatre faculty member PeggyRae Johnson. They have chosen a cast
of 21 talented actors from the college and community including Catherine
Beherns, Dan Bullard, Kim Dupuis, Will Howell, Chris Kelly, Matt Kohler,
Anne-Marie Mallon, Jessica Montville, Darragh O’Brien, Ryan Ouellette, Dan
Patterson, Forrest Seymour, Ashley Simeone, Kimberly Sollows, Chelsea Tuffy,
Susie Ericson West, Vaughn West, Doug Wilcox and Don Wilmeth.

“8” had a much-heralded Broadway world premiere on September 19 at the
sold-out Eugene O’Neill Theatre in New York City. Its West Coast premiere
was held on Saturday, March 3, in Los Angeles where the cast included George
Clooney, Brad Pitt, Martin Sheen and Christine Lahit. It was directed by
AFER founding board member and acclaimed actor and director, Rob Reiner.

The Redfern Arts Center is producing “8” with license from AFER and Broadway
Impact, a non-profit organization of theatre artists and fans mobilized in
support of marriage equality. The Keene State College production is
sponsored by the Redfern Arts Center, the Department of Theatre and Dance,
the Campus Commission on Diversity and Multiculturalism, Monadnock Live Free
and Equal, and Standing Up for New Hampshire Families.


About Redfern Arts Center on Brickyard Pond 30th Anniversary
The Arts Center is named in honor of Dr. Leo F. Redfern, Keene State
College (KSC) President from 1969 to 1979 for his vision, commitment, and
eloquence on behalf of the arts that made funding and construction of the
facility a reality. In 1981, KSC inaugurated this new performing arts
center, with the goal of providing unforgettable artistic encounters for the
campus and community. Since then, the Redfern stage has hosted hundreds of
amazing shows, from internationally renowned artists to emerging young
talents to KSC's own student performers.
Over the years, the Redfern has expanded its outreach programs and
community partnerships, becoming an indispensible resource for the Keene
community and beyond. An exhibit celebrating the Art Center’s 30th
anniversary is currently on display in the Redfern lobby. The exhibit
includes articles and photos of the ground breaking and construction of the
Arts Center as well as posters and photographs of performances through the
years by the Music, Theater and Dance, and Art departments. Visit for more information on the season and to purchase

About Keene State College
Keene State College is a preeminent public liberal arts college that
ensures student access to world-class academic programs. Integrating
academics with real-world application and active community and civic
engagement, Keene State College prepares graduates to meet society’s
challenges by thinking critically, acting creatively, and serving the
greater good. To learn more about Keene State College, visit