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Newark Native Updates On Production of "8" The Play

Read this update on CSU East Bay's upcoming reading of Dustin Lance Black's documentary play, "8," produced by Newark Patch blogger Lauren Lola.

Fall quarter is now in full swing up at CSU East Bay and with it now being the month of October, there are now a number of weeks left until the reading for “8.”

"8” is a documentary play written by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (who’s primarily known for writing the biopic “Milk”).

The fliers and posters have been designed and approved. Now it’s all in the matter of putting them up and around to grab people’s attention and to inform them that this is happening.

"8” has been promoted in other ways as well. Asiance Magazine, an online magazine that focuses on the successes and hard work of Asian American women, added it to its events calendar and I talked a little bit about the production when recently interviewed by Real Interviews.

Casting has been going progressively well. A lot of students have already e-mailed me and have come up to me, asking to audition for it. At this point, it’s all in the matter of recruiting a few more people before classifying the cast as “fully assembled.”

I even got my younger brother, Evan, involved in the production as the lighting designer. He may only be a Newark Memorial High School senior but he’s already really experienced at the craft.  I trust his judgment and it made sense to bring him on for it.

I also got someone to agree to film the reading as well. I befriended a German international student recently and it turns out he is a professional filmmaker.  When I asked him if it’s possible for him to film the show, he willingly hopped on board.

Amidst all that is good in the matter of developing the final product, as the producer, I’m not going to lie that it’s not entirely smooth sailing. There are some bumps in the road that, even now, I’m still overcoming.

I’ve been sending out e-mails to local LGBT groups, telling them about “8,” in the hopes of getting them involved somehow. The hard part: Waiting for them to respond, if at all.

It’s not just LGBT groups that I’m waiting to hear from. There’s also in the matters of hearing back from other individuals as well. Communication is key to getting tasks done and in certain cases such as these, it seems to experience a hiccup.

Despite these obstacles, it’s not stopping me from getting this production pulled together. Already I’m so humbled and thankful that there are so many people wanting to get involved. I’m more confident than I was before about putting this reading together.

I also know that through it all, we are contributing to making a difference and even now in the news, it’s evident that change is being made for the LGBT community.

California recently became the first state to ban teen conversion therapy. Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation, stating that starting on Jan. 1, this controversial form of psychotherapy, which is meant to change the sexual orientation of homosexual youth, can no longer be practiced on people under the age of 18.

In Perry vs. Schwarzenegger, Ryan Kendall served as a witness for the plaintiffs by recalling his experience from being forced into conversion therapy as a teenager by his parents.  Knowing that there will never be another child in this state who will be succumbed to an experience that drastic is a huge improvement.

Tickets for “8” are now available for purchase.  They are $8 for general admission, $4 for CSUEB students and $6 for discount (alumni, CSUEB faculty and staff, seniors 60+, military, youth ages 3-18 and non-CSUEB students).  Tickets can be reserved by calling (510) 885-3118, going online to www.csueastbaytickets.com or by e-mailing in at tickets@csueastbay.edu.

We are still looking for people to get involved, whether as a sponsor or a volunteer.  In addition, we are also looking for people to sell food during the intermission that will take place in between the reading and the talkback.  If you are interested at all, please contact me at kiwilola2014@yahoo.com.

“8” will be taking place on Oct. 28 at 2 p.m.  If you have a Facebook account, please respond to the invitation here (http://www.facebook.com/events/407211312677118/) and invite others to it as well.

For more information, click here: http://www.8theplay.com/readings/california-state-university-east-bay.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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