I was honored to be part of this moving event with some gifted performers.
McCarter Theatre Center, Princeton University Lewis Center for the Arts and the Department of African American Studies present
The Every 28 Hours Plays
Directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian
Monday, October 24, 7 – 9pm
About the Every 28 Hours Plays
Conceived shortly after the August, 2014 killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, The Every 28 Hours Plays tap into the role that the arts have played in helping people process and protest what happened in Ferguson. Last October, Theater makers from around the US traveled to Ferguson and St. Louis to listen, learn, and create a theatrical response alongside local artists. They met with historians, high school students, police officers, community organizers, and other residents of the city before crafting one-minute plays around the theme of police violence and inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. The collection of plays was presented as staged readings in St. Louis and Ferguson in October of 2015.
This year, theaters and universities across the US will join forces and offer individual presentations of The Every 28 Hour Plays during the month of October. The mission is to open each city’s public spaces to engage in this critical conversation.
About the Title of the Every 28 Hour Plays
“The title of the project is inspired by the contested nature of the statistic that every 28 hours a black person is killed by security guard, vigilante or police by extrajudicial violence. When the Malcolm X Grass Roots Movement cited this statistic in a report, the claim went viral—inspiring denial and questions about their methodology. For the original artists behind Every 28 Hours, this raised the larger question: every 28 hours, every 48, every 98—how many hours would it take for this not to be a national issue of vital importance?” – Claudia Alick, Oregon Shakespeare Festival
The evening will consist of 54 one-minute plays, performed by a combination of professional and student actors. The presentation will be directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian and willinclude works by such notable playwrights as Tarell Alvin McCraney, Lynn Nottage, Dominique Morriseau, and David Henry Hwang, among others.
The presentation of plays will be followed by a community discussion designed to highlight and create awareness of the people and organizations in our community who are doing anti-racism work. This discussion will also feature a panel of guests gathered to discuss the topics at hand. Featured panel guests will include:
- Dr. Ruha Benjamin, Assistant Professor of African American Studies at Princeton
- Dr. Susan Fiske, Professor of Psychology and Public affairs at Princeton
- Dr. Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Chair of African American Studies at Princeton
- Dr. Hilary Herbold, Licensed Clinical Social Worker for Counseling and Psychological Services at Princeton
- Dr. Ali Michael, UPenn Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education
- Prof. Peter Moskos, Department of Law and Police Science John Jay College of Criminal Justice; former Baltimore Police Officer
- Mr. Asanni York, President of the Princeton University Black Student Union
This presentation of The Every 28 Hours Plays will be directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian.
Keith Josef Adkins, Zakiyyah Alexander, Claudia Alick, Bandejo and Van, Nancy Bell, Marty Casey, Eric Coble, Migdalia Cruz, Kristoffer Diaz, D’lo, Coleman Domingo, Larissa FastHorse, Kevin R. Free, Gilmer, Idris Goodwin, Kirsten Greenridge, Aleshea Harris, Grant Harris, Amina Henry, David Henry Hwang, Chisa Hutchinson, Aaron Jafferis, Marshal Jones, Lily Junker, Nambi E. Kelley, Shishir Kurup, Brian “Dyalekt” Kushner, Neil LaBute, Joan Lipkin, Lisa Loomer, Jake Margolin, Robert Maesaka, Tarell Alvin McCraney, James McManus, Olivia Medina, Dominique Morisseau, Jonathan Norton, Lynn Nottage, Stephen Peirick, Liza Jesse Peterson, Aaron Posner, Basmin Red Dear, Mariah L. Richardson, Elaine Romero, Nikole Salter, Ova Saopeng, Robert Schenkkan, Stew, Gisla Stringer, Darius Stubbs, Aurin Squire, Universes, Josh Wilder.
- The #Ferguson Syllabus: A list of foundational articles, essays, and books about race, African American history, civil rights, and policing. (The Atlantic)
- The #Ferguson Theatre Syllabus: An annotated list of plays, classic and new, that explore race and justice in the United States. (American Theatre Magazine)
- Implicit Bias and Law Enforcement (The Police Chief)
- National Network
By the end of October 2016, over 100 theaters and universities in 25 states will have engaged in the creation, development, and performance of these plays.
The Every 28 Hour Plays were originally produced by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival under the leadership of Claudia Alick and The One-Minute Play Festival with Dominic D’Andrea, in association with the University of Missouri and Professor Jacqueline Thompson.
Additional support for this event provided by the Center for Human Values.