The Ballad of George Zimmerman

by  Dan O'Brien, Quetzal Flores

10 Minute Play, Drama  /  2m, 1f

Part of the collection, Facing Our Truth: Ten Minute Plays on Trayvon, Race and Privilege. 

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The Ballad of George Zimmerman

by  Dan O'Brien Quetzal Flores

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    2m, 1f
  • Duration

    Duration

    10 minutes
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    From Off-Broadway
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

A folk opera recreating the ten minutes leading to the murder of Trayvon Martin, The Ballad of George Zimmerman explores the mind of his killer.
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Reviews

"The playwrights [of Facing Our Truth...] are Latino, white, Middle Eastern, Asian-American and black ... [The theatre event] was inspired by the debates and nationwide protests that greeted George Zimmerman’s July 13 acquittal in the killing of Mr. Martin, an unarmed black teenager." - Keith Josef Adkins, quoted in The New York Times, Read More

"We're excited to bring our community together to witness how a select group of artists will approach this tragic event and its aftermath ... These are events which, if not considered and explored thoughtfully, could fracture communities." - Michael Ritchie, Artistic Director, Center Theatre Group, Read More 

"Adkins, co-founder and artistic director of The New Black Fest, a New York City–based theatre festival, was so upset by the [verdict acquitting George Zimmerman] ... Days later, still struggling to sort out his feelings of rage, disappointment and confusion, Adkins decided to look for solace and answers where he’d always found them: in the theatre." - Theatre Communications Group, Read More

"Like no other form, theatre definitely promotes dialogue ... It puts us all in a room together, so we’re not just showing the work—we’re also opening communication around the issues that the work stirred up." - Dominique Morisseau, quoted in Theatre Communications Group, Read More

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Reader's Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

  • Caution Intense Adult Intense Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $45 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Contemporary, Present Day, New Millennium/21st Century
  • Duration: 10 minutes
  • Setting: Most of this takes place in the rain in a backyard at the Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, Florida, February 26, 2012, a little after 7pm - in the ten minutes or so from George Zimmerman's 911 call until Trayvon Martin's death. 

    The Officer's song at the end reveals that we've been in George Zimmerman's head all along. For the literal-minded, perhaps Zimmerman is getting his gun back at the courthouse. 
  • Additional Features: No intermission, Play w/ Music
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

Casting

2m, 1f
ZIMMERMAN - Late 20s, would call himself Hispanic.
TRAYVON - Late teens, would call himself Black.
OFFICER - Would call herself White. 
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Cast Attributes

  • Role(s) for Black Actor(s)
  • Role(s) for Latino Actor(s)
  • Features Teens
  • Multicultural casting

Casting Notes

Only the actor playing George Zimmerman needs to be able to play the guitar. The others are welcome to augment their performances with percussive elements, such as hand-clapping, feet-stomping, etc. If no suitable guitar-playing actor can be found, as a last resort an instrumental recording can be provided. 

Resources

Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package

Optional performance tracks available.

Contact your licensing representative for additional information. 

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Authors

Dan O'Brien

Dan O’Brien is a playwright, poet, and librettist. His play The Body of an American received the inaugural Edward M. Kennedy Prize, the Horton Foote Prize for Outstanding New American Pl ...

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Quetzal Flores

Quetzal Flores is a Grammy® Award winning East LA Chican@ rock group, now celebrating its 20-year anniversary, Quetzal is the collaborative project of Quetzal Flores (guitar), Martha González (lead vocals, percussion), Tylana Enomoto (violin), Juan Pérez (bass), Peter Jaco ...

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The Ballad of George Zimmerman was originally commissioned for Facing Our Truth: Ten Minute Plays On Trayvon, Race And Privilege and produced by The New Black Fest, Keith Josef Adkins, Artistic Director. The original reading took place at the Martin Segal Theater at CUNY Graduate Center, NYC December 5, 2013.

Facing Our Truth is not associated with the Trayvon Martin Foundation.

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