The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

“Ver­ba­tim drama” would seem ideal for the na­tion’s cap­i­tal, home to po­lit­i­cal theater and me­dia hys­te­ria. Ver­ba­tim drama, how­ever, is for­mally cat­e­go­rized as doc­u­men­tary theater — ac­tors read from real court tes­ti­monies, tran­scripts and other ac­tual doc­u­ments, yield­ing dra­matic ef­fects that can trump the work of a play­wright. Which brings us to “Fer­gu­son the Play,” a ver­ba­tim drama drawn from Grand Jury tes­ti­mony sur­round­ing the shoot­ing death of Michael Brown. It re­cently de­buted with a public read­ing in a theater not far from Capitol Hill, and will “show the truth the main­stream me­dia is try­ing to hide,” ac­cord­ing to pro­ducer Phe­lim McAleer, who says he only seeks to counter false nar­ra­tives about the ac­tual se­quence of events. The parts of lawyers will be played by lo­cal at­tor­neys.

“It’s im­por­tant peo­ple hear and see the truth and cut through the myths, half truths and lies that have sprung up around Fer­gu­son,” Mr. McAleer tells In­side the Belt­way. “When you hear the de­scrip­tion of the last min­utes of Michael Brown’s life, it is gut wrench­ing. And when you see that ‘hands up don’t shoot’ is a lie, it brings a cas­cade of emo­tions.”

Mr. McAleer is a con­ser­va­tive film­maker and in­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist who has pro­duced mul­ti­ple doc­u­men­taries, in­clud­ing “Frack Na­tion,” which coun­ters claims that the drilling process is an en­vi­ron­men­tal harm; and “Not Evil Just Wrong,” a film which chal­lenged the cli­mate alarmism of “An In­con­ve­nient Truth,” pro­duced by Al Gore. “Fer­gu­son, the Play,” mean­while, will be for­mally staged in Los An­ge­les at month’s end; Mr. McAleer has al­ready raised closed to $50,000 to bol­ster the project. Af­ter wit­ness­ing cast­ing au­di­tions, he still re­calls pow­er­ful ef­fect of gifted ac­tors recre­ated the cir­cum­stances — ver­ba­tim.

“The play uses only tes­ti­mony that the Grand Jury heard. It is go­ing to ex­pose the truth, a dra­matic ex­pe­ri­ence that will change hearts and minds,” he vows.

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