LANSING – Lansing’s newest professional company, Stormfield Theatre, will perform a staged reading of “The Exonerated” by authors Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen April 2-3 at the Riverwalk Theatre. The Friday, April 2 performance is a fundraiser for the Lansing ACLU, which will begin at 7 p.m.; the event includes a pre-show reception. The Saturday, April 3 performance, a fundraiser for Stormfield Theatre, will begin at 8 p.m. This 90-minute performance runs without an intermission.
“The Exonerated” tells the gritty, true stories of six exonerated survivors of death row. Rather than a traditional story-line, the production is riveting through its dialogue, encouraging theater goers to sit up and listen – and think about injustice, prejudice and the death penalty itself.
The play moves between first-person monologues and scenes set court rooms and prisons. Blank and Jensen created the play from thousands of hours spent with letters, transcripts, case files and public records, forming six interviews and their interwoven stories, which paint a picture of an American justice system gone horribly wrong.
“The Exonerated” was “Jaw-dropping…an intense and deeply affecting play,” wrote Ben Brantley of The New York Times. Mark Evans of the Associated Press called the play “Riveting. Simple, honest storytelling that demands reflection.” And former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno wrote, “What has been done through ‘The Exonerated’ is one of the most extraordinary events I have ever seen, and it will do more to promote justice than any literary efforts I have seen.”
Director Kristine Thatcher was encouraged to have Stormfield Theatre produce “The Exonerated” based on a suggestion from members of Lansing’s ACLU that the play would be of great interest for both ACLU members and other Mid-Michigan audiences.
For tickets ($25) or information regarding the Friday, April 2 performance, please check the ACLU Web site at http://www.aclumich.org or phone the Riverwalk Theatre Box Office: 517-482-5700.
For tickets ($20) or information regarding the Saturday, April 3 performance, call Arts Tickets at 517-372-0945 to make your theater reservations by credit card. Tickets will be available at the door for both performances.
Riverwalk Theatre is located at 228 Museum Drive, Lansing.