Igniting controversy for its content, the play kicked off with a bumpy start on April 26 that included a last-minute walkout by five of the cast members. Despite problems, the company forged ahead with the scheduled performances through April 29. The show's creator Phelim McAleer told the LA Times that he now plans to bring the production to other cities, including New York and Ferguson, MO.
"They deserve the truth more than anyone else," he told the publication.
The play is arranged by journalist and documentary filmmaker McAleer, who has called Ferguson "the most important" project he's ever done. "I have an opportunity to bring to the stage the truth about what happened in Ferguson, Missouri the morning police officer Darren Wilson shot dead Michael Brown," said McAleer. "The truth is full of shocks and surprises, but it is unbelievably compelling."
On Aug. 9, 2014, Brown, a young unarmed black man, was shot dead by white officer Wilson. A Grand Jury made the decision not to indict Wilson, spurring protests around the country and making international headlines.
In Ferguson, a cast of 15 reads the actual testimony and witness interviews heard by the Ferguson, MO, Grand Jury that declined to indict local police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown. Following each staged reading, "interactive voting" is used to decide whether or not to indict Wilson. Members of the audience read the transcripts, and then serve as the jury in the performance. McAleer, who stated that as a journalist he is "only interested in what really happened," has drawn from the verbatim theatre movement, which uses exact testimony from public enquiries or court cases.
For more information, visit fergusontheplay.com.