In order to receive seats in the audience to watch the play, students at El Camino Real Charter High School had to write essays about Proposition 8 and their feelings about same-sex marriage.

In order to receive seats in the audience to watch the play, students at El Camino Real Charter High School had to write essays about Proposition 8 and their feelings about same-sex marriage. (Patrick T. Fallon / For the Los Angeles Times / September 17, 2012)

The price of admission to last weekend's play at El Camino Real Charter High School was anything but typical. Then again, neither was the play.

Students had to submit essays describing their views on gay marriage. The play, "8," dramatizes the 2010 trial that overturned California's ban on gay marriage. El Camino's production was probably the first time it has been performed by a high school cast, a main reason why author Dustin Lance Black attended and participated in a discussion afterward.

About 250 students turned in essays. Director and theater teacher Sue Freitag read every one, and, in the end, excluded no one who wished to attend the event in Woodland Hills. Nearly all 600 seats were filled.

"I like guys and girls," one student wrote. "My boyfriend is very supportive of me and who I am. Others not so much, so I want to see how our government thinks about people like me."

Continue reading >>

-- Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times