Trayvon Martin is alive, but maybe not well, in a new play from Artie Award winner Gary Earl Ross.
We all know what happened that night in 2012 — hoodies, Skittles taking on new meaning. We witnessed our legal system grinding through two hundred years of conflict, saw the Second Amendment in a different light, and learned just how powerful stand your ground laws are.
That law takes center stage in Ross’ play. Titled The Trial of Trayvon Martin, the work imagines what might have happened if, during the confrontation between George Zimmerman and Martin, Martin was able to get the upper hand, leaving Zimmerman dead and Trayvon alive.
Alive and on trial for murder, standing before the court 17-years-old, with Florida’s stand your ground law as the centerpiece of his defense, Trayvon is forced to face a jury that is perhaps less inclined to forgive the act of taking a life now that a black man is in front of them rather than Zimmerman.
The play is the most recent entry in The Subversive Theater Collective’s Black Power Play Series. Previous plays in the series include a performance of Othello with an all black cast and a white Othello, a tense look into Martin Luther King’s last hours and a courtroom drama about a black doctor doing his best to defend himself against the KKK in 1920s Detroit.
The theater says their newest play is “fresh and unrelenting.” And excerpts from the play certain back this up, with Travyon at one point lamenting, “I wish I was the one who died. Then maybe I could have got some justice.”
If you’ll be in Buffalo anytime between now and May 6, you can catch the play for yourself at the Manny Fried Playhouse — ticket info is available on The Subversive Theater’s site.