Theater review: Reexamining ‘The Exonerated’

From left: Brian Dennehy, Delroy Lindo and Stockard Channing are featured 
in the 10th anniversary production of “The Exonerated.” To learn more or  purchase tickets, visit www.cultureproject.com/current/exonerated.

It’s been 10 years since collaborators Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen introduced the world to “The Exonerated” at NYC’s Culture Project. The play explores the stories of six people who were imprisoned and sentenced to death for crimes that it later turned out they did not commit. The stories are told in the exact words of those exonerated, with quotes taken from interviews, transcripts and other official documentation. But it’s not a dark show, Jensen assures us: “It is hopeful — optimistic even. Jess and I were changed meeting all these people who had been on death row for two to 22 years and were released amidst overwhelming evidence of their innocence. Seeing that they came out the other side … is inspiring.”

To celebrate the 10th anniversary, Culture Project paired with such advocates as the NYCLU and Amnesty International to put on five weeks of staged readings by the likes of Stockard Channing, Martin Short and Brooke Shields. Some evenings, Kerry Max Cook and Sunny Jacobs, two of the featured exonerated, speak as themselves. “I think that Sunny sees her participation as a gentle revenge for the wrongs committed against her,” Jensen says. “[But] we are all ‘victims’ of this. The toll that injustice … takes on society is great. And the real offenders, in many of these cases, are still out there.”

Adding to the conversation

To further the message about ongoing kinks in the U.S. criminal justice system, the show is slated to run with talk-backs on such prison issues as race conflict and solitary confinement.  And if you happen to leave the theater wanting to get more involved? “Register to vote,” says Jensen. “A lot of judges are appointed by the president. Wrongful conviction can happen to anyone — and an enlightened, nonideological judiciary interested in justice …  is essential for our civil society.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

US military tried, but failed to rescue journalist…

The U.S. military earlier this year tried to rescue journalist James Foley and other American hostages held in Syria ,but failed to find the captives.

National

Fate of captured beluga whales in hands of…

A Georgia aquarium went to court on Wednesday seeking federal permission to bring 18 captured beluga whales to the United States from Russia.

Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

And then there were six. It was a big night on stage as the Top 6 got to dance with each other, All-star partners and perform a solo routine.

Going Out

5 things to do in NYC this weekend…

FILM Lebowski Fest Aug. 22-23, 8 p.m. Various locations, Manhattan $20-$30, www.lebowskifest.com The Dude abides — for 48 hours to celebrate the 1998 Coen brothers classic.…

Television

'Doctor Who' personality profile: the 4 Doctors

When the time comes for a new Doctor, there's always some anxiety over the big question: Who will he be? The series owes its longevity…

Television

Billy Crystal to commemorate late actor Robin Williams…

  Comedian Billy Crystal will pay tribute to late actor Robin Williams at television's Primetime Emmy Awards on Aug. 25, the show's organizers said on…

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

NFL

Jalen Saunders still unsure what caused car accident…

Jets rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time since his car accident, but he didn't say a whole lot.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Wellbeing

Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…

Wellbeing

Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…