Friday, January 05, 2007



Tonight is the night! The Playhouse on the Square's production of The Exonerated has it's first production tonight and then every Thursday-Sunday in January. The play tells the stories of six innocent survivors of death row, using their own words as taken from testimony from trial, letters, interviews, and case files. If you've never seen the play and live in (or anywhere close to) Memphis, make it a point to see this production. If you have seen it, then you know how powerful a production it is and you should go see it again and bring as many of your friends as possible. Either way, make sure to check it out!

As organizers, we want to leverage as many different voices, messages, and messengers as we can to sway the hearts and minds of our policy-makers. And we shouldn't underestimate the usefulness of artistic expression in that work. Whether it's death row art shows, film screenings, or plays like The Exonerated, we want to use every opportunity to open people's minds to new concepts.

We're really lucky to be working with Playhouse on the Square in a cooperative relationship in this case. We're helping them out by publicizing their production as much as we can, and in turn they are allowing the Memphis chapter to table at each show, so that people leaving the theatre, and having been moved by the production, are given an opportunity to take concrete action and get involved right then and there. In addition, the Playhouse is letting yours truly come and do a talk-back after the show tomorrow night, so when the lights come up after the final curtain, I get to walk out on stage.

What makes this even better is that, through our partnership with the Memphis Branch of the NAACP, we'll have a number of representatives from the Shelby County Commission in attendance, so we can use this as a chance to begin the dialogue with them around the need for a moratorium and how individual municipalities can help in that effort. All in all, I'm proud of the work that we've been able to do around this production and I think that it should yield great results.

It's showtime!
Comments :
why not defend the ones who really need your help -- the unborn -- rather than people who are mostly -- face it, sport -- filthy killers?
Well, "Anonymous" I can certainly appreciate your sentiment, even if it's not expressed in the most respectful way possible, but I'd have to say that I don't think that society or government or you or I should ever get to decide who lives and who dies. And especially with a system like our current death penalty system, that has been shown to target the poor, racial minorities, and people who suffer from mental illness. I don't think that any life is without meaning or worth, and I certainly don't feel that I (or any other human being or group of human beings) have to right to make that decision. I'm not ready to let anyone (including the government) kill in my name. Not when we have other, safe and less expensive, means to protect society. Let's remember that a group of human beings decided that Jesus Christ was a filthy criminal and executed Him.

Also, just as I side note, when I make personal declarations of my belief, I'm not afraid to sign my name to them. If you are truly interested in having a thoughtful dialogue, I'd encourage you to identify yourself.

Thanks for your comment and I hope that you keep reading.

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