Impressive Cast Reenacts Prop 8 Trial

This morning, Towleroad released an exclusive interview that Corey Johnson got yesterday with Perry v Schwarzenegger attorneys David Boies and Ted Olson. It’s an insightful ten minutes that you should watch. Here, I’ll help.

Toward the end of the interview, Mr. Olson had a request for the community:

This case is an education, and it’s an opportunity for the American people to learn things that they’ve avoided thinking about. … What I would encourage people to do is to read the transcript of this trial, listen to what we’ve had to say, and make sure that the words that David and I are uttering and the message that we’re sending out gets distributed as widely as possible, because we’re not only trying to persuade the courts, we’re trying to help educate and persuade the American people.

As it happens, while they were taping this interview, I was catching up on MarriageTrial.com‘s reenactment of the trial using the official court transcripts. It’s really turned into a fantastic production with some fairly big names from Hollywood taking part. In researching the cast, a dozen cast members stood out to me.

  • Plaintiff Sandy Stier played by Tess Harper
    • Oscar-nominated for her role in Crimes of the Heart and recent SAG award winner for No Country for Old Men.
  • Dr. Letitia Peplau, Professor of Psychology University of California played by Adrienne Barbeau
    • Nominated for a Tony Award for her portrayal of Rizzo in the original Broadway production of Grease. Known to The Gays as Bea Arthur‘s daughter on Maude. Known to The Straights for her 1978 poster.
  • Gregory M. Herek, Professor of Psychology University of California, Davis played by Scott Lowell
    • Best known for his turn as Ted on Queer as Folk. (I sobbed when I found out he was straight.)
  • Dr. Ilan Meyer, Professor of Sociomedical Sciences Columbia University played by Arye Gross
    • You might remember him for his role on Ellen as her roommate Adam. The show became stunningly unfunny when he left.
  • San Fransisco City Attorney Danny Chou played by Peter James Smith
    • Best known for his supporting role on The West Wing.
  • ProtectMarriage.com attorney and all around creepy lying nutjob Andrew Pugno played by Brian Poth
    • Spent three years playing supporting character Tyler Jensen on CSI: Miami.
  • Defendant-Intervenor attorney Nicole Moss is played by Judith Hoag
    • Currently appearing as Cindy on HBO’s Big Love.
  • William Tam attorney Terry Thompson played by Tuc Watkins
    • Recently left the role of David Vickers on One Life to Live. Continues to appear as Bob Hunter on Desperate Housewives.
  • Defendant Intervenor and Prop 8 author Hak-Shing William Tam played by Gedde Watanabe
    • Best known for his roles as Long Duk Dong in Sixteen Candles and the voice of Ling in Mulan.
  • Lead plaintiff’s attorney David Boies played by Jack Laufer
    • You might recognize him from his recurring part on Showtime’s Huff.
  • California Dep. Attorney General Tamar Pachter played by Susyn Duris
    • Not nearly as seasoned as the others on this list, but I noticed that she was lead in a play several years ago in a town close to mine, presumably with actor-types I used to know in that town. Cool.
  • David Blankenhorn, Founder & President, Institute for American Values played by Gregory Itzin
    • Fantastic character actor probably best known these days for his Emmy-nominated role of President Charles Logan on 24.

The reenactment isn’t quite completed, but the opening days and closing days of the trial are completed and online. Gedde Watanabe, Scott Lowell, and Ayres Gross’s parts aren’t up yet.

If you have to watch just a part (this thing is longer than North and South, for crying out loud), check out the last day. Greg Itzin captured the frustrating combative witness that we heard so much about from people in the courtroom. He was so maddening, in fact, that I had to shut it off and walk away in the middle.

Here’s the beginning of the final day, with a link to MarriageTrial.com’s youtube channel.

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2 thoughts on “Impressive Cast Reenacts Prop 8 Trial

  1. Matt:Thanks for the shout out – I had to look to see what play you were referring to but when I saw you're from SW OH, I knew you were referring to the Tipp City Players. Good theatre in the Dayton-Cincinnati corridor. I do miss OH. Come back to http://www.marriagetrial.com soon to see closing arguments. Thanks for the PR on me and our great project!

  2. Matt:Thanks for the shout out – I had to look to see what play you were referring to but when I saw you're from SW OH, I knew you were referring to the Tipp City Players. Good theatre in the Dayton-Cincinnati corridor. I do miss OH. Come back to http://www.marriagetrial.com soon to see closing arguments. Thanks for the PR on me and our great project!

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