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This is the true story: in playwright Dahlak Brathwaite’s hometown, Sacramento, policemen fatally shot an unarmed Black man, Stephon Clark. Brathwaite soon learned that his childhood friend was one of the cops who shot him. This is COMMERCIAL: The principles of Marquise Johnson, a fictional avatar for the playwright, are challenged upon learning that his childhood friend was one of the officers involved in this shooting. A play within a play unfolds as Marquise attempts to process the event, beginning as a nuanced poetic meditation on his complicated connection to this murder evolving into a sensational drama with deadly consequences.
Tickets are $20
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Content and Production Effect Warning
Production effects and content sensitivities vary from person to person, and we encourage you to contact us ([email protected] or 212.967.7555) if you have questions about any production. This production includes gunshot sound effects and an active depiction of police violence.
Dahlak Brathwaite is an award-winning dramatic auteur: playwright, composer, performer, director, and filmmaker. His work has been presented at The Smithsonian, Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, REDCAT, MCA Chicago, Ars Nova, The Public Theater, The Apollo, SXSW, by Creative Time, and on HBO’s last two seasons of “Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry.” Dahlak’s trilogy of works—Spiritrials (solo play), Try/Step/Trip (musical), and Adapting History (documentary film)—take a personal look into the criminal justice system and the relationship between Black American music and Black American subjugation. Development of the work has been supported by CalArts, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Victory Gardens, and Montalvo Arts Center. Dahlak has received awards and support from NEFA, the Doris Duke Foundation, the U.S. State Department, NYU Tisch, and MAP Fund. He was a Creative Capital finalist and a United States Artist nominee. He is a graduate of NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, where he was awarded the Dean’s Full-Tuition Fellowship, and served as the assistant director for the national tour of the Tony-winning revival of Oklahoma!
Supported by the NEA and Rockefeller Foundation