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'Ferguson' play: Michael Brown shooting staged with grand jury testimony

Michael Brown's death is explored via grand jury transcripts in 'Ferguson' the play

Actual grand jury testimony from the Michael Brown case lays the groundwork for the new play "Ferguson," written by journalist and documentary filmmaker Phelim McAleer and to be presented by Theatre Verite Collective in Los Angeles in late April.

The play, a guest production of Odyssey Theatre, examines what happened on Aug. 9 when Brown, a young unarmed black man, was shot dead by white police Officer Darren Wilson in a confrontation Ferguson, Mo., that spurred protests across the country.

"Ferguson" is being billed as "verbatim" theater, "a play constructed from the precise words spoken by people interviewed about a particular event or topic,"  the announcement said. The death of Brown will be staged from witness testimony and presented to the audience in the same way a grand jury -- the grand jury that ultimately acquitted Wilson -- heard it.

“I want to bring the truth about what happened that day to the stage,” McAleer said in the announcement. “I think audience members will be very surprised, even shocked, when they hear the clear and unaltered truth about the events that took place on Aug. 9, 2014. There are a lot of myths and half-truths circulating about the shooting. 'Ferguson' is a chance to dispel these once and for all.”

Like much of McAleer's work, "Ferguson" is being funded via crowdsourcing on the site indiegogo.com. It will be directed by Nick DeGruccio ("The Laramie Project" at Laguna Playhouse and the Colony Theatre).

McAleer's projects include producing and directing the documentaries "FrackNation," about fracking; "Not Evil Just Wrong," which looks at the heightened emotions around global warming; and "Mine Your Own Business," exploring the push by foreign environmentalists against mining projects in the developing world.

"Ferguson" will be staged April 26 to 29 at Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles. For more information: FergusonThePlay.com.

Twitter: @jessicagelt

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