blackbirdonline journalFall 2015  Vol. 14 No. 2

Introduction & Table of Contents

Akeem Davis and Kevin Meehan. Photo by Johanna Austin.
 Akeem Davis and Kevin Meehan. Photo by Johanna Austin.

  Playwright’s Notes
Artistic Director’s Notes
Actor’s Notes

As Jacqueline Goldfinger tells us in her Playwright’s Notes, Slip/Shot, which treats an incident where a white security guard accidentally shoots and kills an innocent black teenager, was written before the Trayvon Martin shooting, a coincidence that only makes the play’s topic more troubling and heartbreaking. Part of what troubles us all is whether or not these events should lend themselves to a treatment in art, and if they are so treated, who has the authentic voice with which to enter the story? Goldfinger’s is only one attempt to address these issues, and her aim is to illuminate in some way the incalculable damage that this violence perpetrates on the victim and his family and also on the security guard. She states about her characters, “we see the tragedy of the two families unfold: the black family’s loss and grief and the white family’s attempt to understand what happened.”

The action plays out on a stage where both victim and perpetrator live in a set that serves as a single location, emphasizing a history and circumstance that interweave the characters’ lives and their larger community as inexorably as the subsequent historical events have indicted us all.

Slip/Shot was developed at PlayPenn and the Lark’s Playwrights’ Week, was featured in American Theatre Magazine, and won the 2012 Independence Foundation Award for Outstanding New Play at the Barrymore Awards.

Included here are the play in its entirety, Goldfinger’s notes, notes from Shana Bestock, the artistic director of a production at the Seattle Public Theater, and commentary from the actor James Ijames, who originated the role of Monroe in the PlayPenn New Play Development Conference in 2011.

The line breaks in the text of the play represent the playwright’s suggestion to the actors for pacing and rhythm.

Johanna Austin’s photographs from the play’s World Premiere at Flashpoint Theatre in Philadelphia are featured throughout the presentation. The cast that appears in these images includes:

Clem: Kevin Meehan
Kitty: Rachel Camp
Monroe: Akeem Davis
Euphrasie: Taysha Canales
Sheriff: Keith Conallen
Miz. Athey: Cathy Simpson
Lukie: Erik Endsley  end of text

   Contributor’s notes

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