One of the values that the ensemble of Theatre B attempts to hold in all of its work is a belief that the theatre can present thought provoking art as inspiration for social action. Every year, Theatre B seeks out socially engaged projects through partnerships with our neighbor organizations. We’ve had a long and meaningful relationship with the LGBT community, so when the opportunity to present a play like 8 came about, we jumped at it.
It helped that 8 is an incredibly well crafted work. In the course of 90 minutes, dense legal issues are presented lucidly. The social, policy and political impacts are presented with eloquent clarity by weaving key moments of the trial together with personal stories of the struggle and the broader social debate. There are also brief moments that, with simple precision, illuminate the tremendous noise of the 24-hour news cycle, the dangerous conflation of expertise and opinion, and the destructive inflexibility of extreme ideology. It manages to make these points without melodrama or histrionics by appealing to our intellectual and empathetic self.
With 21 speaking roles, it’s a sprawling narrative. Fortunately, when the call for artists to help present this work went out, it was met with gusto. A talented cast of some of F/M’s most accomplished theatre artists have come together to tell this story. I feel so fortunate to be able to work with such incredible people who all have such a high level of skill (needed with the very short rehearsal process). We all hope you can join us at 8 p.m. on Oct. 8 at the historic Fargo Theatre for this one-time only event.
Director, Theatre B ensemble member