Dustin Lance Black’s Latest Project Puts Proposition 8 Center Stage

DustinLanceBlack Dustin Lance Black has been a busy boy.

The 37-year old screenwriter and activist who achieved fame, fortune and an Oscar for his work on Milk spent the last six months sifting through thousands of transcripts from the Proposition 8 trial and has turned them into a play, 8.

The play, which features dramatized adaptations of all the California gay marriage trial's main characters, will hold its first reading on September 19th at the Eugene O'Neill Theater in New York City, the New York Times reports:

[The new play] will be performed in a staged reading on Broadway in September and then produced at Carnegie Mellon University, Northwestern, the University of Michigan, and elsewhere.

The play consists mostly of verbatim dialogue and statements from the trial transcript, Mr. Black said, as well as his own observations from sitting in the courtroom most days and interviewing people on both sides of the case.

“One of my hopes about the trial was to get the opposition in court, hands raised swearing to tell the truth, and have the world see the opposition called to account for going on TV saying gay people harm children, harm families,” Mr. Black said. “Since the trial itself wasn’t heard or seen, I wanted to get that story out another way.”

No word on who will star in the reading, but producers promise "a cast of top Hollywood names and Broadway's finest." Only the best for Mr. Black.


  1. Paul R says

    What’s the point? LGBT people and our allies already know the lies that people say about us. Most others won’t care. Transcripts of the trial are available. Hearing them said “dramatically” isn’t going to do much.

    Love Black, but this seems tedious. I hope he proves me wrong.

  2. wyocwboy62 says

    “Do unto others that you would have others do unto you” its great…the RR will get their day in court again but it will be center stage with them looking well I am not sure but i would suspect “foolish”., what does the good book say about fool’s…if ya don’t know look it up! lmao

  3. Oliver says

    This project would have a far greater impact if it were to be a two-hour special on tv.
    Staging this in NYC seems a little like preaching to the choir.

  4. Rowan says

    Not really Jackson. All things gay is Lady Gaga’s USP and how she makes her $$. It’s not original and as a child of “publicity”,her words,she has just copied the model from all the diva’s before her.

    Her management said, go after the gay community for your first loyal fan base, they are obssesed with arrogant diva’s and it worked for Madonna.

    So she dumps on the gay community = loses dollars.

    James franco works as a heartthrob in one the most homophobic industries that depicts gay men as fairies, purposefully keeps their stars in the closet and barely ever shows any gay scenes in many of it’s hundreds of films.

    Franco does not gain ANYTHING from repeatedly being in films that show gays in a positive or complex light NOR spending HIS money to make gay themed productions that will lose money in the box office.

    Hell, I’ve learnt more about being gay and gay history from Franco, then from Gaga. According to Gaga, we are little monsters. According to Franco, we are poets, writers etc etc

    Howl was one of my favorite movies that moved me from thinking about Ginsberg as some hipster whom trendy celebs like Kate Moss claim they love to someone who was a great talent and fascinatingly sad character. Just glad that he was able to find love in the end because those days were not kind to gay men.

  5. Rowan says

    Oh and I think this is more of an intellectual vanity project, as opposed to a mainstream awareness vehicle, hence the selection of some of the best theatre schools and “Broadway’s finest and top Hollywood names”.

  6. Woodchucker says

    I’ve always said this trial would make a great, great movie one day.

    It’s got both tragic moments and comedy gold lines, an world-changing edge, good characters, bad chracters, interestingly mysterious characters (the judge! who’s gay! omg!), suspense (what will the decision be? Will they allow it to be broadcasted?? Will the defenders witnesses all disappear??)…

    I followed it fay by day at the time it was happening… Would be glad to see this turned into a great movie.

  7. MikeBoston says

    Maybe DLB’s bff Kenny Mehlman will want to bankroll this production? When DLB bent over backwards to give political cover to Mehlman, the former head of the RNC, when he decided that Mehlman could make more money being gay than turning us into demons and deviants. DLB’s credibility stands at about zero….

  8. Paul R says

    @Rowan: You said:

    “Her management said, go after the gay community for your first loyal fan base…
    Franco does not gain ANYTHING from repeatedly being in films that show gays in a positive or complex light.”

    Assuming that you’re not friends with Gaga or Franco, I find it surprising that you can read their minds and conclude that Gaga is a greedy, calculating robot while Franco is a selfless, devoted soul who has devoted his career to helping our cause and teaching us about ourselves. Of course Franco earns things from his projects. It’s called money.

    Could it be possible that both are gay-supportive individuals who think for themselves, like to perform for receptive audiences, have many gay friends and relatives, and reflect the views of their generations? Not to mention, Gaga is a performer in an equally homophobic field, yet takes time at every performance to talk about gay issues and donate to local LGBT causes, and includes us in her lyrics.

    And in case you hadn’t noticed, she’s the most popular performer—no matter what the genre—in the world today. Gays do not account for the majority of her fan base, and she doesn’t calls gays little monsters. That’s what she calls all her fans. Also calls herself Mother Monster.

    I think Franco’s adorable features and Gaga’s occasional irritating moments might be clouding your judgment. Both have done great things for the LGBT community. On another note, I was going to ask how in the world Franco’s oevure—or anyone’s—could teach you about being gay, but then I recalled feeling a bit educated by My Own Private Idaho (as a teen) and some films starring Ewan McGregor. But never Franco, though I think he can be great when he’s focused. But let’s face it: both he and Gaga are obsessed with being celebrities. Everything else takes a back seat.

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