In the summer of 2008, Philadelphia found itself in the midst of a murder epidemic. Compared to that of a third world country, the murder rate had become so pervasive that it was commonly referred to as the city housing “more bodies than days." Mural Arts Project and Interact Theatre of Philadelphia -- knowing they wanted to create a piece on rising incarceration rates and its impact on the city -- commissioned solo performer Sean Christopher Lewis to bring the idea to life. His task? To interview inmates at Graterford Prison -- men employed to create the murals seen throughout the Metropolitan Area of the City of Brotherly Love -- all while serving life sentences for murder. Including interviews, blog entries, recorded lyrics and more from these men, their handlers, local politicians, hip hop artists, victims, citizens, conservative pundits and ER doctors at Penn Trauma Center, "Killadelphia" gives a perilous view not just of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but of the urban centers across the United States of America.
Now touring across the country, the piece is a necessary bridge between the separate worlds in our society: the heard and unheard, the seen and invisible, the victims, their predators and the public and private spheres where judgment lies.
Studio Roanoke is presenting this exciting show from Dec. 17-19. It's not the standard holiday fare you might expect at this time of year, but we believe the benefit to the community outweighs any risks. As a lean, mean theatre machine, we can do it on a shoestring -- in fact, our total budget for the project is just $1,000. If we can raise just half of that via Kickstarter, we'll be in a great position to put this baby in the black -- and to bring other cutting-edge shows to southwestern Virginia.
For more details on Sean Lewis and "Killadelphia," go to http://seanchristopherlewis.com/.
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