On October 17 at 7:30pm, for the second year in a row, Trinity Rep will be performing a series of one-minute plays that brings attention to the events of Ferguson, MO. The national project, called Every 28 Hours, created by The Oregon Shakespeare Festival and The One-Minute Play Festival, is named after the statistic that a black individual is killed by a police officer every 28 hours in the US.
Joe Wilson, Jr., resident actor at Trinity Rep, along with other theater artists across the country developed these plays during a weeklong residency in St. Louis last year. There, they immersed themselves in the Ferguson and St. Louis communities and listened to stories, including those of Michael Brown’s death. These narratives shaped the one-minute plays, which will be performed by volunteers in each participating actor’s local community this month.
“It’s only natural that we’re using art in our communities to provide a space for the really tough discussions, as a way to provide voices to people,” says Joe. “That’s the idea behind the one-minute play methodology: providing a time and space for as many voices as possible.”
In addition to the original-form plays on October 17, Joe will be partnering with Dominic D’Andrea of the One-Minute Play Festival to extend the conversation on October 18 with “One-Minute Plays: Our Response.” Revolving around diversity and the inclusion of public safety, these plays will be generated from four local workshops that take attendees through the process of writing a one-minute play. Workshops will be held at Wheaton College, URI, CCRI and the Southside Cultural Center as a collaboration between Trinity Rep, the police department and the City of Providence.
Joe hopes to one day have an annual One-Minute Play Festival in Providence to continue the dialogue around diversity, inclusion, public safety and whatever else the community wants to talk about.
“We can’t just have meetings, talks and fun exercises,” he says. “How do we make these things into something that’s actionable? What do we do? And that ‘doing’ has to be something specific. I’m humbled to be a part of that conversation, and I know with that comes great responsibility. I hope that I’m able to make my community proud. I hope that I can move the needle forward and not get in the way. And I hope to do so with an open heart and mind, but with purpose.”
Trinity Rep is still seeking volunteers to read plays for the October 17 and 18 shows. All races and ages are encouraged to participate. Interested volunteers should contact Rebecca Noon at RNoon@TrinityRep.com.
Every 28 Hours
201 Washington Street