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Zooman and the Sign at TheatreLoft

Zooman and the Sign

Describing the plot of Charles Fuller’s 1980 play, Zooman and the Sign, might frighten away half its potential audience. A family is thrown into turmoil when their young daughter is killed by a stray bullet while playing in front of her urban home. But Fuller, author of A Soldier’s Play, is a master storyteller. The plot does not revolve around gang violence. Fuller is more interested in what happens next. Although every neighbor on the crowded street runs to see what has happened, and watches as the killer escapes, nobody comes forward to identify him to the police.

Outraged, the girl’s father makes a sign and posts it on the front porch: “The killers of our daughter Jinny are free on the streets because our neighbors will not identify them.”

Indignant over this pointed criticism, a neighborhood that was willing to turn a blind eye to murder is up in arms over this sign. That’s the play.

Interspersed with scenes of a family in turmoil and a neighborhood at war are monologues by “Zooman,” the sociopathic youth who accidentally shot Jinny while trying to kill someone else.

A strong acting ensemble and an enthusiastic audience at TheatreLoft propel the drama forward. Willie Judson has directed the production. Peter Johnson plays Zooman. Barry Williams, Jr. and Shanntina Moore play Reuben and Rachel. Beverly Crowell plays Aunt Ash. Kalif Crutcher and Nyquato Jermaine play Victor and Russell. Leon Copeland plays Jackson. Michael Avery, Jr. plays Emmett.

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