The Flea presents The Every 28 Hours project Tuesday, October 25th
A black man and a white man stand on a cliff, overlooking a vast expanse of land representing America. A family builds a bunker made of books. Two young black men in hoodies lie in pools of red light, being held by their mothers.
These are just some of the responses from 72 playwrights across the country who were given a writing prompt: “Every 28 hours a black man is killed by police.” Each of these playwrights wrote a one-minute play inspired in some way by this statistic, and the result is a play cycle called Every 28 Hours.
The project was originated by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, who has invited theatres across the country to participate in any way they would like to; and on October 25th at 7pm The Flea will produce and provide a venue for Every 28 Hours here in New York.
“I’m extremely excited The Flea will be a part of such an inspiring and important project,” says The Flea’s Artistic Director Niegel Smith. “These plays were written from a place of passion, anger, love, and deep questioning. These are questions that we, as makers of culture and as Americans, need to be asking.”
Playwrights involved in Every 28 Hours include Lynn Nottage, David Henry Hwang, Kristopher Diaz, and many more. The plays will be rehearsed and presented as a staged reading to an audience in our White Street space, all in one day. The actors, directors, and crew will be composed entirely of volunteers who wish to contribute to this project to amplify this issue.
“This is a chance to bring our ethnically diverse resident company of early career actors and directors together with seasoned professionals”, says Smith.
The Flea’s mission is to create “a joyful hell in a small space”; our work takes risks and confronts the important conversations of our time. Unfortunately, this is a conversation that must take place. Every week there is another video, another photo, another story of a young black man killed by police. “In the wake of these deaths,” says Smith, “we have a responsibility to create work that responds to the world and provokes community dialogue, pressing for social change.”
To further encourage that community dialogue, The Flea will also host a post-show conversation moderated by Smith and featuring some of the Every 28 Hours playwrights and activist actors.
The Every 28 Hours plays: NYC will be presented at The Flea on Tuesday, October 25 at 7pm. Tickets are free, available on a first-come, first-served basis at www.theflea.org. The Flea Theater is located at 41 White Street between Church and Broadway, three blocks south of Canal, close to the A/C/E, N/R/Q, 6, J/M/Z and 1 subway lines.