The Ballad of Trayvon Martin: Diary of a Black Man

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Co-written by Maharaj and Thomas J. Soto, this docudrama was inspired by the events surrounding the death of the young teen, and was told from multiple perspectives making the narrative richly textured.

In the audience at the premiere of The Ballad of Trayvon Martin at the New Freedom Theatre, weeping mothers watched as the events that led to the death of the young teen played out. I wanted to think that some were sobbing because of their knowledge of America’s history with race, but a part of me knew they cried because of their own personal fears—their own personal stories.

On the day it was made public that George Zimmerman, the man charged and acquitted for the murder of seventeen-year old Trayvon Martin, placed the weapon used in the tragedy on an auction site, the New Freedom Theatre lifted its curtains for the world premiere of The Ballad of Trayvon Martin. Directed and choreographed by Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj, the stage production was a biographical trifecta of Martin, Zimmerman, and America. For some, old wounds were re-opened, for others, new ones were inflicted.

Co-written by Maharaj and Thomas J. Soto, this docudrama was inspired by the events surrounding the death of the young teen, and was told from multiple perspectives making the narrative richly textured.

Dressed in black hooded sweatshirts, black sweatpants, black sneakers, and baseball hats, dancers Julian Darden and Stanley Morrison introduced the story by charging down the aisles. Positioned in front of closed curtains at center stage, Darden and Morrison’s youthful bodies were dynamically expressive, as they deliberately punctuated different accents in the music, and then seamlessly floated through each transition.

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