Academics: Majors and Programs

Drama and Dance Events

Join the Spelman College Drama and Dance Department and Synchronicity Theatre on March 20-21, 2015 for Special Readings 

Troy Davis Project Reading at Spelman College

Friday, March 20 | 7:30 p.m.
The Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby, Ed.D. Auditorium at Spelman College
GPS Address: 440 Westview Drive, Atlanta, Georgia 30310
Free and Open to the Public

Saturday, March 21 | 7:30 p.m. | Synchronicity Theatre at Peachtree Pointe,
1545 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30309
Tickets: $10 General Admission
 For more information, visit 

Engage in the continued development of a new play that encourages dialogue about tinderbox issues of race, media, the justice system, and capital punishment. Commissioned by Synchronicity Theatre, "Beyond Reasonable Doubt: The Troy Davis Project," a new play by local playwright Lee Nowell, aims to engage our community in fair and balanced conversations about the death penalty.  Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University will provide rehearsal space for a weeklong workshop of the play, culminating in public staged readings March 20-21 at Spelman College and Synchronicity Theatre. 

 Each reading will include post-show dialogue with the actors, designers, playwright, and facilitators from the Center for Civil and Human Rights and the Ben Marion Institute for Social Justice, Inc., two of Synchronicity’s community partners on the project.  These facilitators are also conducting a series of workshops in March and April at three local high schools: Druid Hills High School, Decatur High School and Tri-Cities High School (a performing arts school).  Diverse groups of students at each school will participate in discussions about the death penalty, race and social justice, and will either attend one of the staged readings or read the play aloud in class.

Synchronicity’s Producing Artistic Director Rachel May says . . .

 “As we travelled down the path of developing [Beyond Reasonable Doubt], I became really intrigued with the question of how we each form our deeply-held beliefs about issues as deeply personal and yet publicly sanctioned as the death penalty, and how each of us understands truth. The goal of our play is to probe deeply into the many facets of the death penalty and race and our responsibility to this conversation.” 

Beyond Reasonable Doubt is supported in part by a $10,000 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.  Art Works grants support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and enhancement of the livability of communities through the arts.  Additional community partners on the project include Emory University’s Ethics and the Arts Program, the Southern Center for Human Rights and Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.  

About the Playwright

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt at SpelmanPlaywright Lee Nowell began her career at Hedgerow Theatre (PA), the country’s oldest resident repertory theatre company, where she trained to be a director with Obie award winner, Lou Lippa. She focused on new play development and workshopped world premiere productions.  After two seasons at Hedgerow, she was nominated for the New York Drama League’s Directors Lab.  Her plays have been workshopped and produced by Theatre in the Square (Urban Fairytale), Metropolitan Theatre Alliance (Preacher from the Black Lagoon), Actor’s Express (Albatross, Paper House, Obsession), Ex Somnium (How to Survive Being Human), Horizon Theatre (Blue Angels Weekend), and Play West (The Commission).

She is the recipient of an Inverness Playwriting Award, two Turner New Voices in the Works Grants (Paper HouseObsession), an NEA Grant (Beyond Reasonable Doubt:  The Troy Davis Project) and has been nominated for The List (Paper House), a Jennie Award (Urban Fairytale), a Suzi Bass Award (Albatross), and an NEA Distinguished New Play Development Award (Paper House)Albatross was nominated for “Best Play of the Year” by Atlanta Theatre Fans.

About the Play

"Beyond Reasonable Doubt: The Troy Davis Project," is based on a controversial trial in Savannah, Georgia. Alison and Bob are struggling in their marriage when Alison becomes aware of the Troy Davis case. She latches onto it but Bob tries to persuade her away from it.  As Alison works to free Davis, her marriage deteriorates. Bob gets the court transcripts for Alison to read just before he moves out. Alison reads the transcripts and comes to the conclusion that Davis may, in fact, be guilty.

Curtis is with his grandmother Mary for a brief stay before he goes back to college. Mary begins to suspect that there is more to his visit than meets the eye.  Mary attends a rally to free Troy Davis.  She sees Curtis there, yelling that Davis is guilty.  She grabs him and they escape just before the crowd turns violent. Curtis is convinced that Davis is guilty because his own father was killed and he is identifying with the victims.  Mary is convinced that Davis is innocent because the evidence that shows that a man named Redd Coles is actually guilty of the crime.  They square off. Curtis tells Mary he’s dropped out of college.  Mary gives Curtis the evidence pointing to Redd Coles and leaves the house.  Curtis reads the evidence and comes to the conclusion that Davis may, in fact, be innocent.

About Synchronicity Theatre

Synchronicity Theatre activates communities toward social change through powerful, transformative theatrical experiences. In collaboration, Synchronicity supports women artists, forges long-term and effective community partnerships and develops new work.  Founded in 1997 and led by Producing Artistic Director Rachel May and Managing Director Dee Sandt, we now reach nearly 8,000 patrons through our season of plays for adults (Bold Voices) and families (Family Series); community outreach; and educational programming, including our award-winning Playmaking for Girls (PFG) program. 

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