Media Versus the Justice System; Capital Punishment Versus Race - All at stake in Gripping "Bey
The intense and enigmatic "Beyond Reasonable Doubt: The Troy Davis Project" makes its world premiere at Atlanta's bold and engaging Synchronicity Theatre, in its new permanent home at 1545 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta 30309, several blocks from the Woodruff Arts Center, running through May 1st. This stimulatingly high tension and thought provoking play is written by Synchronicity's Managing Director and Artistic Associate Lee Nowell and directed by Producing Artistic Director Rachel May, produced in association with Inverness Productions. The production which alternates act 1 and 2 depending on the night and is followed by a discussion nightly engages the audience from beginning to end by exploring and questioning the validity of the accusation towards African American Troy Davis for murdering a white policeman in Savannah, Georgia in 1989. Exposing the polarity and shadow side of the politics of race and capital punishment, Troy Davis in the play based on the actual events. On the verge of execution Amnesty International is fighting to save his life determining if he will get life in prison or the death penalty. The polarizing events take a toll on a couple's already fraught relationship: Lane Carlock plays Alison, an unemployed CDC health scientist layering her performance as a depressed, disillusioned, wife growing apart from her husband, Bob, played by Eric Mendenhall, very effective as the authoritarian, ultra conservative lawyer who fears that his support of the death penalty for Davis might ruin his relationship with Alison. Alison has joined Amnesty International is fighting to save Davis life and is increasingly uncomfortable with her husband's extreme right wing views. Alison meets Lucy, an activist from Amnesty International played by Cynthia D. Baker who enlivens her character performance by presenting all the complexities of an American in the South born to a Nigerian father. Bob shares his troubles with his friend Tony, played by John Benzinger who in multiple roles shows his admirable range by playing Bob's friend, a semi-alcoholic, misogynistic train-wreck, and the stern prosecution lawyer for Davis with the flawless Southern Georgia drawl. Stephen Ruffin and Terry Henry also give stellar performances as a grandmother and grandchild torn apart by their own personal experience in the wake of murder, capital punishment and race. The taut and engrossing "Beyond Reasonable Doubt"
holds our attention throughout with its sometimes unnerving exploration of all sides of the issues, challenging the witnesses' credibility and that of their changing accounts - all seen through the eyes of different characters, often with opposing views. This important theater and this timely production part of its Bold Voices Series deserve our support. For more information check out Synchronicity Theater's website www.synchrotheatre.com or call the box office at (404) 484 8636. For each production Synchronicity, a wonderful contribution to Atlanta's theatrical scene, also offers Inside Scoop, pay-what-you-can Industry nights and preview options as well.