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A production of TheatreFIRST, 2003 Season

Clive Chafer, Artistic Director


Stephen Lawrence's Parents

TheatreFIRST of Oakland secured the premiere American rights to this fascinating and epic play edited by Richard Norton-Taylor created for the Tricycle Theatre Company in London. The play is drawn from the text of the 1998 Public Inquiry into the death of Stephen Lawrence, a young man stabbed at a bus stop in London by racist gang members.


Stephen Lawrence

Directed by Randall Stuart of Upon These Boards and featuring a multi-cultural cast of 30, the play was performed in the environs of the historic Ehmann Hall in downtown Oakland - a promenade production in which the audience surrounded the events - both the crime on the street, and then the inquiry in a British courtroom.

"This is one of the most ambitious local productions in recent memory. Director Stuart creates a theater experience teaming with life, violence and human beings at their noblest and their most pathetic."

Perp's at court

The Play: On April 22nd, 1993, a young black man, Stephen Lawrence, is stabbed to death in South London, England. Evidence and eyewitnesses point to five white youths and an unprovoked racist murder. Five years later, no one has been brought to justice for the crime. A public inquiry is held. This play is taken entirely from the words spoken at that inquiry. It is a searing indictment of the insidious "normality" of racism, even in the institutions we trust to deliver justice - and also an extraordinary and deeply moving theatre event.

"This is a stunning and inspired piece of theatre, and we should be proud Oakland is its American launching pad. Stuart's brilliant weaving of these fascinating and frightening interviews is complemented by his inspired direction - as the 30 actors come at the audience from every direction. This is a strong, relevent and fine piece of theatre; an epic tale told in epic proportions."

The Ensemble: Terry Lamb, Alison Strahan, Laurie Strawn, Lewis Sims, Veneita Porter, Ekow Daniels, Dana Kelly, Karl Hanover, Patrice Lukulu Binaisa, Rishi Shukla, Celia Maurice, Gregg Le Blanc, Brian Trybom, Lizzie Calogero, Anna Ishida, Lauren Bloom, Amaya Alonso-Hallifax, Matthew Travisano, Paul Loomis, John Hutchinson, Garth Petal, Lauren Grace, Jan Hetherington, Michele Shoshani, Christine Odera, Bradford Shreve, Howard Dillon, Clive Chafer, Valerie Weak, Ruyata Akio McGlothin
Producer: Clive Chafer/TheatreFirst. Musical Score by Gregory Scharpen