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Art imitates life in AAPACT's "Zooman"

ZoomanandthesigneflyerJust two years and three months ago, not so far from the place where the African American Performing Arts Community Theatre (AAPACT) will open its production of Charles Fuller's Zooman and the Sign next week, a little girl died.

Sherdavia Jenkins was nine and sitting on her porch at the Liberty Square Housing Project when she was caught in the gunfire between suspected drug dealers.  After her death, her grieving family was outraged that of the many potential witnesses outside on a hot July day, almost no one came forward.

Fuller's play, written in 1980, powerfully forshadows a tragedy like the one that took Sherdavia's life.  A tough, remorseless Philadelphia kid who goes by the name of Zooman (Derrick Chiverton) accidentally shoots and kills a 12-year-old girl who was sitting on her porch.  Her distraught family tries to get witnesses to tell the truth, eventually posting a sign accusing neighbors of allowing the killers to roam free because of their silence.  The parallels are obvious and chilling.

The disturbing, resonant play is offering two very low-priced previews -- with tickets just $5 -- at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22-23 at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, 6161 NW 22nd Ave., Miami. The performance Oct. 24 will cost $5 for the first 50 people, $10 for everyone else, and it will be followed by a talk-back with director Andre Gainey and actors Carey Hart, Larry Robinson, Teddy Harrell Jr., Curtis Holland, Lamar Swan, Kevin Johnson, Catherine A. Williams, Rachel Finley and Chiverton.

Zooman runs through Nov. 16 with performances at 8 p.m. Friday-Sunday, 3 p.m. Sunday.  Opening night tickets Oct. 25 are $30, with subsequent shows priced at $25.  For information, call 305-638-6771 or visit AAPACT's web site.

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Teddy Harrell Jr

Christine, to say that I love you is an understatement.

You have been a supporter and fair reviewer of our productions since we first produced, Athol Fugard's The Island.

Ironically, I have been speaking back and forth with Sherdavia's father, David Jenkins who has asked that we work with him in the future to produce a play about his daughter's life.

We look forward to seeing you at the performance of Zooman.

On behalf of AAPACT thank you and the Herald for your love.

Teddy Harrell, Jr.
Founder
AAPACT

doggy dog

I herd the set and lighting was done the one and only dudley pinder. I will love to see the show. You guys always do great shows. I will make it my best to be there. Keep up the good work and keep theatre in our hood. Peace!

Pamela Robinson

Teddy Harrell, Jr. is one of the greatest actors of all times and I can't wait to see the show!

Denise Rainey

The last show I attended was humorous and thought provoking. Teddy, God has gifted you, go forth; for He said your gifts will make room for you and cause you to go before great men! See you there!!

Deen H. Tyler

The play was excellent, check it out. Great job Teddy!!

karen fryd

I think everyone in this communitty should see this play so we can underst an each other, and be more compassionate. This sadstory is a daily reality for amny and understanding will connect us and allow us to help one another.

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