December 4, 2013, 5:17 pm
Work Inspired by Trayvon Martin Case to Have Premiere on Thursday
A free showcase of short plays and a folk opera about race in the United States, inspired by debates over the Trayvon Martin case, will have its premiere on Thursday at the City University of New York Graduate Center. Called “Facing Our Truth: 10-Minute Plays on Trayvon, Race and Privilege,” the project comes from the New Black Fest, which supports innovative plays by and about black people.
The work by artists from a variety of cultural backgrounds begins at 6:30 p.m. in the graduate center’s Martin E. Segal Theater. It will be followed by a post-show discussion.
The five plays and a folk opera to be featured are: “Some Other Kid” by A. Rey Pamatmat, “Night Vision” by Dominique Morisseau, “Colored” by Winter Miller, “The Ballad of George Zimmerman” by Dan O’Brien in a collaboration with the musician Quetzal Flores, “No More Monsters Here” by Marcus Gardley and “Dressing,” by Mona Mansour and Tala Manassah.
New Black Fest commissioned the playwrights to take on the project after the protests and discussions following George Zimmerman’s July 13 acquittal in the killing of Mr. Martin, an unarmed black teenager. Mr. Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla., said he was acting in self-defense.
“The hoodie seems to find its way into most of the plays,” Keith Josef Adkins, a co-founder and the artistic director of the New Black Fest said in an email on Wednesday. “The subject matter ranges from a satire about racial misconceptions to black on black racial misunderstandings to the underbelly of white privilege to a mother’s desire to have control over her son’s clothing.”
After the Thursday premiere the work will be presented in other places and cities. The Alliance Theater in Atlanta, the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, the Goodman Theater in Chicago, Center Stage in Baltimore, the Woolly Mammoth in Washington and the Public Theater and the National Black Theater in New York are among those that have agreed to support or present the work, according to Mr. Adkins.