"8," the Dustin Lance Black-penned play about gay marriage, will follow its 2011 Broadway debut and the announcement of an upcoming Los Angeles production with dozens of productions of the play across the country, starring local actors.
Broadway Impact and the American Foundation for Equal Rights are partnering to sponsor the readings, which will take place in states where gay marriage legal issues are in play, including New Hampshire, North Carolina, Maryland and Maine.
"8" will be performed at the University of New Hampshire on Feb. 7 and at the Palace Theatre in Manchester, N.H., on Feb. 10, followed by more than 40 scheduled productions across 17 states throughout the rest of 2012, The Associated Press reports.
Other readings are scheduled for Stanford University, the University of Toledo, the University of North Carolina, Towson University in Maryland, the Uptown Players theater company in Dallas and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
The play debuted in a one-night-only benefit performance on Broadway last September with Morgan Freeman, Ellen Barkin, Bob Balaban, Bradley Whitford, John Lithgow, Matthew Bomer, Yeardley Smith, Cheyenne Jackson, Christine Lahti and Rob Reiner in the cast, and raised more than a $1 million for AFER.
George Clooney will lead another celeb-laden cast — under Reiner's direction — in a Los Angeles production of "8" on March 3.
The play revolves around the federal trial that overturned Proposition 8 (the judge in the case ruled Proposition 8 was unconstitutional, though his decision is under appeal), and utilizes the original transcripts from the 2010 Perry v. Schwarzenegger case.