NEW YORK - In the play "Pass Over," written by Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu, two friends grapple with the emotional impact of fatal encounters between Black men and law enforcement as they pass time on a street corner.
It's an urban take on the legendary French play "Waiting for Godot" but Chinonye Nwandu said the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin was her primary inspiration.
"I do not believe justice was served, and out of that moment and out of that cauldron of just real frustration, I wrote this play," Chinonye Nwandu said.
Among the challenges facing the creative team was getting a production underway to meet COVID safety guidelines in just two months.
"We hope that we can create an experience that is healing for people both as they return to live theater, as they return to sitting next to somebody and to having a stranger sitting next to them," said Danya Taymor, the director.
The play is sure to provoke post-performance discussions about the ongoing fight for civil rights unlike anything seen as of late on Broadway.
"I see this production as part of the paradigm shift that is happening globally," Chinonye Nwandu said.
"Hopefully, we are going to have an audience that spans generations, that spans race, that spans class," Taymor said. "And so I want each of those people to be able to meet the material as it hits them."
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