Freeze Frame... Stop the Madness, a new work fusing dance, music, cinema, and theatre, will kick off October 27 at the Eisenhower Theatre at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. Inspired by real-life incidents, the piece examines issues of gun violence and race relations in America.
Created long before the Black Lives Matter movement came into being, the piece examines what happens when police hunt down the wrong young black man after a crime is committed.
Written, directed, and choreographed by Emmy and Golden Globe winner Debbie Allen, Freeze Frame premiered at the Brisbane Festival in Australia in 2013 and was previously done in the U.S. at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Los Angeles this past winter. It will play in Washington, DC, through October 30.
Watch the trailer for the L.A. production below:
Allen is the founder of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy. Her directing and producing credits include the TV series Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder, and Empire; and on the Broadway stage, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Carrie. She has been an artist in residence at the Kennedy Center for over 15 years.
Allen told the LA Times that Freeze Frame is “probably the most important work that I've done in many years.” She said that the narrative of the piece, about an innocent young black man who is targeted by the police, is one that she is all too familiar with—as are many of her dancers who grew up in tough, south L.A. neighborhoods. Allen says she hopes the multimedia work will help audiences see things differently and inspire change. "Art is a lens through which people can see themselves and see the world," she told the publication. "And maybe it can sensitize them to something they should think about.”
To purchase tickets to Freeze Frame, visit the Kennedy Center website.
Allen went on the TV talk show The Real October 24 to describe the show’s goals: