Production of the Exonerated—July 27-28, Allentown

From Pennsylvanians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (http://www.pa-abolitionists.org/):

With special reception at 6 PM, July 28

Exoneree guests to tell their own stories before and after play at America on Wheels Museum

 ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Allentown Public Theatre (APT) presents the play, The Exonerated, by Jessica Blank and Eric Jensen, on July 27 and 28 at 8pm as part of its Actors in Action Festival at America on Wheels Museum (5 N. Front St.) in Allentown. Directed by Felix Mayes, The Exonerated tells, in their own words, the gripping, true stories of six death row inmates, wrongly convicted and later exonerated and freed. Moving between first-person monologues and scenes in courtrooms and prisons, the interwoven stories paint a picture of an American justice system gone wrong – and of six brave people who persevered to survive it. In 2002, the New York Times called the play – intended for adults and teens – “Jaw-dropping . . .  The #1 play of the year.”

Performances will be followed by a panel discussion with cast, director, audience and special guests – including a real life exoneree who will tell his story and a representative of the Pennsylvania Innocence Project, which uses DNA evidence to exonerate the wrongfully convicted. Friday’s exoneree is Vincent Moto, who spent 10 1/2 years in prison for a rape and burglary he did not commit. Moto is one of seven men featured in the 2004 documentary film, After Innocence: Freedom Is Just the Beginning. On Saturday the exoneree panelist is Kirk Bloodsworth, who served 8 years for the rape and murder of a nine-year-old girl. In 1993, Bloodsworth  was the first death row inmate in the U.S. to have his conviction overturned using DNA evidence. He is the subject of a feature documentary being made by filmmaker Gregory Bayne, titled Bloodsworth: An Innocent Man, and of Tim Junkin’s critically acclaimed book, Bloodsworth: The True Story of the First Death Row Inmate Exonerated by DNA.

Also, Saturday evening all Exonerated ticket-holders are invited to a pre-performance reception from 6 to 7:30pm in the HubCap Cafe at America on Wheels. Kirk Bloodsworth will tell his personal story and answer questions. There is no additional ticket required; refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to susanweaver@verizon.net.

The opportunity The Exonerated presents – to discuss and learn more about the issues involved with capital punishment – is very timely. Speaking of threatened executions, Kathleen Lucas, of Pennsylvanians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, says, “For the first time in 13 years, we face the very real possibility this year that the state will kill in our name.”

The Exonerated, July 27 & 28, performances at 8pm; reception on July 28 starts at 6pm. At America on Wheels, 5 N. Front St., Allentown, PA. Individual tickets, $15. For more information, including multiple-performance discounts, and to buy tickets online, visit www.allentownpublictheatre.com. Because of limited seating, advance ticket purchase is recommended.

PADP will be speaking about our work before and after the performance on Saturday night.

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