Voices From the Margin presents “Point Blank” multi-platform production
By Shavonne Walker
SALISBURY — What began as a conversation about Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter and a way to create real discussion about the increasing violence within the city has grown into a multimedia original production with shows beginning this week.
Lee Street theatre in partnership with the Covenant Community and Human Relations Council of Salisbury present “Point Blank,” a piece written by the theater’s own Artistic Director Craig Kolkebeck. The piece is also sponsored in collaboration with the Center for Faith and Arts.
Performances run March 30 – April 1 at 7:30 p.m. and will be held in Lee Street theatre’s Tom and Martha Smith Event Center at 329 North Lee Street. Admission is by donation, which will be collected at the door. Proceeds benefit the Human Relations Council. Doors will open at 7 p.m.
This is the third annual Voices from the Margin production and offers multiple perspectives through spoken word, projected images, sound and stylized movements.
Kolkebeck said what’s exciting about the piece is that it’s a chance to create “understanding for the white community to understand what Black Lives Matter means and not be defensive about it.”
He said it’s a chance to engage in conversation.
“There’s enough people in this community who are anxious to blend all lines together and come up with a positive action plan to lessen tension,” Kolkebeck said.
He said from a writing standpoint, it was extremely challenging and a daunting task to try to approach this tense subject matter.
“I hope I’ve done some justice to it all. I hope I’ve used my medium of which to be able to address it the best that I can. I’m extremely proud of where we’re at,” he said.
Kolkebeck and his collaborators, including Betty Jo Hardy and Linda Hunt, both of whom are with Covenant Community Connection, and community activist and pastor Anthony Smith began talking about where they should start the conversation. Kolkebeck had also been in talks with human relations adviser Al Heggins.
“It hit home with the shooting of Ferguson Laurent and A’yanna Allen. We were able to go out in the community and speak to community activists like Anthony Smith and Kenny Hardin, and those that have spoken at open forums and with those talking with city council,” he said.
Kolkebeck said the production is not only based on interviews with community leaders, but national research.
The production is structured around five actors and has video and still images. Krystal Stukes, owner of Triple Threat Dance & Charm, has a piece called Glory that she choreographed with her students and his cast.
“This is huge. It’s not just a play,” said Susan Lee, chair of Covenant Community Connection.
Lee said this production would continue the community conversation, support the city’s effort and all the other groups who are trying to get to the root cause of violence.
She said the production also “depicts how racism doesn’t happen between people but within our system.”
There will also be spoken word from Gorilla Poets and others as well as an opportunity at the end for a “talk back,” where the audience can actually have open dialogue and discussion.
For more information about the production or to find tickets, go to www.leestreet.org .
Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.