Today is the final day to see the first run of “The Gammage Project,” the new play about the death of Jonny Gammage during a traffic stop on Route 51 and its impact on race and police-citizen relations in Pittsburgh. At a talk-back last night afer the play at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, it was suggested that the play will live on.
Playwright Attilio “Buck” Favorini said there has been discussion about using the play in high schools and creating a curriculum around it, and that Mark Clayton Southers, who directed the play, has suggested annual readings. Mr. Favorini answered questions from the stage with former City Councilman Sala Udin, now president and CEO of CORO Pittsburgh; Anthony Krastek, an attorney in the Commonwealth’s Office of the Attorney General who prosecuted the first two trials for officers accused in Mr. Gammage’s death; and the Rev. Richard Freeman, pastor of Resurrection Baptist Church and President of PIIN.
Rev. Freeman followed Mr. Udin in saying the play should be used as part of police training, where it is needed to educate those who face life and death decisions and "who need to start actiing like adults."
Also in attendance last night were members of the Gammage family; Judge Robert Colville, the D.A. at the time three officers were tried in the death of Mr. Gammage; and Jordan Miles and his mother, Terez; Jordan was a student at CAPA when he was stopped in his Homewood neighborhood and beaten by three white police officers.
The play is at the August Wilson Center is at 1 p.m. today; read Chris Rawson’s review at post-gazette.com. Read more about the Black & White Reunion, “building bridges to end racism in Pittsburgh,” at www.blackandwhitereunion.org.