Before Ferguson, Eric, Baltimore or Sandra… On February 10, 2014, a 16 year-old boy attempted to rob an off-duty Cook County Sheriff at gunpoint. That boy, Deonta Mackey, was shot dead. Media coverage figured Mackey as another Chicago kid turned criminal, message boards referred to him as a “dumb nigger,” and many even championed the officer as “heroic” in his self-defense. Free Street Theater’s radically politicized ensemble of young performers The Young Fugitives felt differently.
The Young Fugitives’ TRACK 13 takes the death of Deonta Mackey as a launching pad to explore the history of crime and policing, the present-day realities of relentless racialized state violence, and the impact of growing up in Chicago in communities under pressure. Written and performed by young adults of color too often in the line of fire, TRACK 13 grapples to understand: Why is it that fifty years after the Civil Rights Act youth are being shot by those enforcing the laws their grandparents fought to change? As we chant #blacklivesmatter, are some deaths easier to rally behind than others? How does state violence against Black women, Latinos or queer and trans people fit into this equation? Are some youth really just “thugs?” TRACK 13 approaches these questions in a 50-minute physical theater piece directed by Ricardo Gamboa with Sean J.W. Parris and with an original soundtrack composed by Sadie Woods.
TRACK 13 first premiered to standing-room only crowds during January-February, 2015 and marked the one-year anniversary until Mackey’s death. While that run came to an end, police violence against people of color has not. Free Street reunites Gamboa and The Young Fugitives to kick-off their 2015-2016 season with an updated version of this urgent, provocative play.
Fridays, September 18 - October 23
Doors 6:30pm, Shows 7:00pm