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Discrimination & Police Misconduct: Broadway Star Christina Sajous Seeks Settlement

Jerrica White

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Many of us remember where we were 14 years ago on September 11. But what about last year?

Broadway actress, Christina Sajous (“Spider Man: Turn Off the Dark”, “American Idiot”) and Ethan Paulini are fighting to erase that memory. The memory of racial slurs, hand cuffs, and police misconduct.

After a night of enjoying an off Broadway production, Sajous and Paulini hail a taxi looking to reach their Harlem destination. After requesting to travel via the West Side highway, the driver, Gregory Adolph, refused the route and began the debauchery.

“I don’t have to do anything for a n- – – -.”

Paulini interjected, only to be met with: “Now the fa- – – – got something to say.”

Their threat to call the police left Adolph unfazed and unbothered.

The pair decided to finish the trip on the subway, but not without paying $20 to a $19.50 fare. Thinking they dogged a headache, Sajous and Paulini head to the station only to be met by the police.

As it turns out the driver was armed with more than just offensive words, but actions to back it up. He called the police claiming Sajous and Paulini did not pay.

Paulini reaches for his receipt to show the officers he paid the fare, instead, the two are handcuffed and told to share their receipt with the judge.

“So (the driver) can insult us and we are the ones getting arrested?” says Sajous. Enforcing superiority in one word, the cop replied “yup”.

They were arrested and booked for not paying their fare and resisting arrest, but luckily those charges were dropped last year.

Saujous and Paulini vs Adolph, the officers, and the city will meet in court for settlements.

No one mourns the wicked. 

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Events and Happenings

Erika Dickerson-Despenza Addresses Flint Water Crisis with Cullud Wattah

Drew Shade

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Playwright Erika Dickerson-Despenza

There is limited seating left for Erika Dickerson-Despenza’s new play CULLUD WATTAH at The Public Theater. Opening today, Thursday, March 7th and running until Sunday, March 10th in the Public Studio is about three generations of Black women living through the current water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

“It’s been 936 days since Marion’s family has had clean water. When local activists file a class action lawsuit against the city, Marion—a third-generation employee at General Motors—must decide how best to support her two daughters, sister, and mother while lead seeps into the community, their home, and their bodies. As corrosive memories and secrets rise among them, the family wonders if they’ll ever be able to filter out the truth.”

2018 Relentless Award Semifinalist and poet-playwright makes her Public Theater debut with CULLUD WATTAH directed by Lilly Award winner Candis C. Jones; the cast includes Deonna Bouye (Marion), Alana Raquel Bowers (Reesee), Caroline Stefanie Clay (Big Ma), Nikiya Mathis (Ainee), and Kara Young (Plum).

The creative team includes Production Stage Manager Gregory Fletcher, Stage Manager Priscilla Villanueva, and Movement Director Adesola Osakalumi. Along with scenic design by Arnulfo Maldonado, Costume Design by Ntokozo Fuzunina Kunene, lighting Design by Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew, and sound design by Megan Culley

We believe in this work so much we’re giving away 4 tickets to the performances on March 10th. 2 tickets to the matinee and two the evening performance thanks to our founder Drew Shade and actress/playwright Jocelyn Bioh. Go to our Instagram to find out how!

Also, find out more about how you can help the Flint Water Crisis and support this show HERE.

Listen to Erika talk about her work on an episode of Off Book Podcast below

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Events and Happenings

Surely Goodness and Mercy by Chisa Hutchinson Begins Off-Broadway

Broadway Black

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Performances begin today, Tuesday February 26th, for the New York premiere of  Surely Goodness and Mercy, presented by Keen Company. A story about an exceptional boy living a troubled life in Newark, NJ who does a good deed for an often unnoticed person.   Sarita Covington, Jay Mazyck, Brenda Pressley, Courtney Thomas, and Cezar Williams star under Jessi D. Hill’s direction.

Set in an under-funded public school in Newark, Surely Goodness and Mercy by rising playwright Chisa Hutchinson, tells the story of a bible-toting boy with a photographic memory who befriends the cantankerous old lunch lady. Against all odds, Tino and Bernadette help each other through the mess of growing up and growing old.  

Surely Goodness and Mercy has spent the last year charming audiences across the country: “Notably absent from Hutchinson’s frank and sobering story: cynicism” – Chicago Reader; “(Surely Goodness and Mercy has) a soul-stirring quality, touching audiences with its sincerity” – Daily Utah Chronicle; “it’s impossible not to like it” – The Salt Lake Tribune. Now, Keen is honored to bring this big-hearted new play to New York for the first time.

Performances for this limited Off-Broadway engagement of Surely Goodness and Mercy will continue through Saturday, April 13th only, with opening night set for Wednesday, March 13th.

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