Drama/ 9-10 Characters, 4 Men, 5 Women/ Full Length, Two Acts
Synopsis: A black teenager on his way home from a convenience store in Sanford, Florida is followed by a Neighborhood Watch volunteer who thinks the boy is planning to commit a crime. A confrontation leads to a struggle. A gun discharges, one of them dies, and the other finds himself thrust into the criminal justice system. This ripped-from-the headlines drama explores what might have happened if the infamous events of February 26, 2012 — which inspired the Black Lives Matter movement — had gone differently.
From The Buffalo News: “Ross has left all the details of that dark February night intact save for one important detail: In the struggle over Zimmerman’s gun, Martin walked away and Zimmerman caught a lethal bullet. Ross wants to know: In this entirely feasible situation, how would a 17-year-old black male come out? Or, to paraphrase Ross, does Florida’s ‘stand-your-ground’ law only applied to scared white people?
“For anyone interested in the genesis of the Black Lives Matter movement, the challenges of administering justice in America, or even just a smart police procedural, Ross’ ‘Trial of Trayvon Martin’ is worth a look.”
“[A] fine new play . . . . [Ross’s] smart script plays out like an extended episode of ‘Law & Order’ . . . . He has funneled his own outrage into the character of Imani Fairchild, a hard-charging defense lawyer intent on pulling some shred of justice from an already tattered situation.”
Amateur and professional rights:
Gary Earl Ross
228 Highgate Avenue
Ph: (716) 308-0807
Playwright’s website: http://www.angelfire.com/journal/garyearlross/
About the Playwright: Gary Earl Ross, a retired UB/EOC language arts professor, is the author of more than 200 published short stories, poems, articles, op-ed articles, scholarly papers, and public radio essays. His works include the short story collections The Wheel of Desire (2000) and Shimmerville (2002), the children’s story Dots (2002), the novels Blackbird Rising and Nickel City Blues (2017), and the stage plays Sleepwalker (2002), Picture Perfect (2007), The Best Woman (2007), Matter of Intent (winner of the 2006 Edgar Allan Poe Award from Mystery Writers of America), Murder Squared (2011), The Scavenger’s Daughter (2012), The Guns of Christmas (2014), The Mark of Cain (2016), and The Trial of Trayvon Martin (2017).
Ross’s plays have been performed in Buffalo, NY; New York, NY; Rochester, NY; Bend, OR; Knoxville, TN; Spring Lake, NJ; Kamsack, Saskatchewan, Canada; West Sussex, England; Manchester, England; London, England; Shanghai, China; Manipal, India; and Almaty, Kazakhstan. Ross edited Nickel City Nights (2008) and co-edited (with Gunilla Theander Kester) The Empty Chair: Love and Loss in the Wake of Flight 3407 (2010) and The Still Empty Chair (2011). Released in 2017 by Black Opal Books is Nickel City Blues, the first Buffalo-based Gideon Rimes mystery.
In addition to the Edgar, Ross’s honors include three Emanuel Fried Outstanding New Play Awards, a LIFT Fiction Fellowship, a Saltonstall Foundation Playwriting Fellowship, an ASI/DEC Fiction Grant, public radio commentary awards from the New York Associated Press and the New York Broadcasters Association, and numerous awards for teaching or professional, university, or community service. A member of the Just Buffalo Literary Center, the Dramatists Guild of America, Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and the National Writers Union, Ross has written, directed, or acted in plays for Ujima Company, the Subversive Theatre Collective, New Phoenix Theater, Road Less Traveled Productions, and the Towne Players.
The Trial of Trayvon Martin was first performed by the Subversive Theatre Collective, Buffalo, NY, in April, 2017.