A documentary play by award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black ("Milk" and "J. Edgar") gets a one-night staged reading Oct. 29 in Minneapolis. The event, directed by Theater Latte Da's Peter Rothstein, is a benefit for the pro-gay-marriage organization Minnesotans United for All Families.

The play is titled "8," a reference to Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot initiative that banned gay marriage in California. "8" centers on the 2010 trial in federal district court in San Francisco that ended with Judge Vaughn Walker declaring the marriage ban unconstitutional on grounds of due process and equal protection. The ruling may be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Black's play had premieres last year at celebrity readings in New York and Los Angeles. The West Coast premiere  had a cast that included Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jane Lynch and Martin Sheen.  

Rothstein directs a big cast of Twin Cities actors, including Beth Gilleland, Bob Davis, Zach Curtis, Jen Blagen, Shawn Hamilton, Aditi Kapil, Sasha Andreev, Patrick Bailey, Tod Petersen, Don Shelby and Linda Kelsey. It is being produced by Michelle Pett.

The staged reading is at 7:30 p.m. at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis. Tickets are $25-$100. 651-330-6852 or www.mnunited.org/prop8. 

 Dustin Lance Black

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