Saturday, October 6, 2012

MONDAY: Sam Arora's Ex-Friends Host Play About Marriage Equality // Challenger Jay Hutchins Featured in Post-Show Chat

SAM ARORA BACK ON THE HOT SEAT: Yesterday, Maryland Juice received word of a very interesting event being held at Silver Spring's Roundhouse Theatre on Monday night. The DC Theatre Collective is hosting a one-time production of a play called 8, which chronicles the federal court challenge to California’s Proposition 8 (ticket link).

Notably, the shows producers are two former supporters of Maryland's anti-gay lawmaker Sam Arora, and they have invited Arora's principal challenger Jay Hutchins to speak to the audience after the show.

Check out the message and event announcement from a disappointed former supporter of District 19 Delegate Sam Arora below:
FORMER SAM ARORA SUPPORTER: I sent you an email about this event a couple weeks back but I have some news to share - Jay Hutchins, who as you know is running to replace Sam Arora in District 19, will be joining our post-show discussion panel for "8" the play (this Monday at Round House Theatre Silver Spring). Chris Geidner will be moderating the panel (cool piece on his participation in Fishbowl today).

I know you've written extensively about Sam Arora. I've personally known him for over 10 years and was an ardent supporter and donor to his campaign. This is one of the reasons we were inspired to produce this play in Silver Spring in the first place. His betrayal hit me and our mutual friends really hard - many of whom are gay and were told BY SAM, to their faces, that he supported their right to marry. We can't forget Sam's betrayal the next time his name is up at the ballot box.

Jay Hutchins, District 19 Delegate Candidate
NOTE // 2014 SLATE IN DISTRICT 19 - JAY HUTCHINS & BONNIE CULLISON + 1 (???): Delegate Sam Arora currently serves in a 3-member State House district with Delegates Bonnie Cullison and Ben Kramer. But Kramer may run for Montgomery County Executive in 2014 and create an open seat in District 19.

If that happens, to defeat Sam Arora, there will need to be two strong challengers running to replace Sam and create a de facto progressive slate with Delegates Bonnie Cullison and Jay Hutchins.  

Folks who care about knocking out Sam Arora in 2014 need to start thinking about that possibility.

See the press release about the marriage equality play below:

Actors, Activists, and Community Leaders Join Fight to 
Protect Marriage Equality in Maryland with Landmark Marriage Equality Play

[Silver Spring, MD] – Less than a month before Marylanders go to the polls to make an historic decision about same sex marriage, a local group will build momentum for marriage equality with a unique night of theater and activism.

The DC Theatre Collective, with license from the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) and Broadway Impact, is proud to announce a one-night-only benefit reading of “8,” a play chronicling the historic trial in the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8. The event, which will take place on October 8 at Round House Theatre Silver Spring, will feature a post-show discussion moderated by award-winning journalist Chris Geidner of BuzzFeed. Panelists include Jay Hutchins (candidate for Maryland State Delegate in District 19, Silver Spring), Rabbi Stephanie Bernstein (Foundation Board President of Equality Maryland), and Katie Rooney (advocate and volunteer with Marylanders for Marriage Equality). Hutchins is running for the seat currently held by Del. Sam Arora, who voted against Maryland’s marriage equality bill earlier this year. “8” is written by Dustin Lance Black, the Academy Award-winning author of the feature film Milk. Proceeds from the event will benefit AFER and Equality Maryland.

“This election day, Marylanders will vote on Question 6 – the Civil Marriage Protection Act – which provides civil marriage licenses to committed gay and lesbian couples,” said Jenny Lynn Towns, Director/Producer of “8”and Co-Founder of the DC Theatre Collective. “We must do everything in our power in the weeks before the election to protect marriage equality for our friends and neighbors in MD – by getting people to the ballot box, building resources for the organizations fighting for it, and raising awareness about what’s at stake if anyone sits on the sidelines this November.”

The cast of well-known local actors includes Helen Hayes Award winners and nominees, as well as several openly gay and lesbian actors. The cast includes: Frank Britton, Caleb Caudill, Felicia Curry, Chris Dinolfo, Lee Mikeska Gardner, Will Gartshore, Chris Geidner, Rick Hammerly, Lisa Hodsoll, James Konicek, Susan Lynskey, Rose McConnell, Scott McCormick, Carl Menninger, Jared Mercier, Tom Story, MaryBeth Wise, and Jaysen Wright.

When: October 8, 2012 @ 7:30pm

Where: Round House Theatre Silver Spring | 8641 Colesville Road | Silver Spring, MD 20910

Tickets: Online at or by phone at 240-644-1100

“8” is an unprecedented account of the Federal District Court trial in Perry v. Schwarzenegger (now Perry v. Brown) – the case filed by AFER to overturn Proposition 8, which stripped gay and lesbian Californians of the fundamental freedom to marry. Dustin Lance Black, the Academy Award-winning writer of the feature film Milk and the film J. Edgar, based “8” on the actual words of the trial transcripts, first-hand observations of the courtroom drama, and interviews with the plaintiffs and their families.

“8” had its much-heralded Broadway world premiere on September 19, 2011, at the sold-out Eugene O’Neill Theatre in New York City, and had its West Coast premiere reading at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre on Saturday, March 3, 2012, in Los Angeles. The West Coast reading featured an all-star cast including Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and Martin Sheen, and was directed by AFER Founding Board Member Rob Reiner. The two readings collectively raised more than $3 million for the fight to secure full federal marriage equality.

“People need to witness what happened in the Proposition 8 trial, if for no other reason than to see inequality and discrimination unequivocally rejected in a court of law where truth and facts matter,” said AFER Founding Board Member Dustin Lance Black. “The goal of ‘8’ is to show the world that marriage equality is a basic constitutional right.The facts are on our side and truth always finds the light. AFER and Broadway Impact are doing all we can to help speed that process along.” Throughout 2012, AFER and Broadway Impact are licensing “8”for free to colleges and theatres nationwide in order to spur action, dialogue, and understanding.

“The DC Theatre Collective believes in creating theatre that challenges audiences and inspires them to act. When I read ‘8,’ I knew it was a piece that could do that,” said Towns. “I also believe it’s a piece that will remind people of what’s at stake this November.”

Tickets can be purchased online at or by phone at 240-644-1100.

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