Ever a crusader for civil rights, George Clooney has become the first star to join the Los Angeles production of Dustin Lance Black's play, "8."
The Oscar-winning actor will appear in the one night only event on March 3rd at LA's Wilshire Ebell Theatre, leading an as of yet unnamed cast of co-stars in a Rob Reiner-directed production. The play features the a reenactment of the courtroom drama behind the federal trial that overturned the Proposition 8 gay marriage ban in California.
"It is astonishing that gay and lesbian Americans are still treated as second-class citizens," Clooney said in a statement. "I am confident that, very soon, the laws of this nation will reflect the basic truth that gay and lesbian people -- like all human beings -- are born equal in dignity and rights."
Black, who won an Oscar for writing "Milk" and penned this year's "J. Edgar," produced a version of the play in New York City that starred Morgan Freeman, Ellen Barkin, John Lithgow and 18 other stars. The drama centers on the defense of gay marriage pressed by former Solicitor General Theodore Olson and attorney David Boies, onetime political rivals who came together to fight the ban in federal court.
Featuring a cast in directors chairs and a barebones set, the play is more of a script reading, a representation of a trial that did not have its transcripts made public at first by the federal court.
Clooney has won a multitude of awards already this year for his role in this fall's dramedy, "The Descendants," in which he plays a beleaguered dad and husband struggling with new responsibilities. He also directed and starred in the political thriller, "The Ides of March."