BolderLife could bring another year of fantastic plays to this year’s multi-media festival. We are looking back to a great Theater Program. We could present six Original Short Plays on stage of the Crossroads Theater in Denver.
One of the wonderful plays has been “Trayvon – Killing King’s Dream”.
Logline: After hearing the verdict in the Martin/ Zimmerman case, co-workers play out the deadly affect it could have on society.
Playwright: Steven Schenck
Director/Vocalist: Sheila Ivy Traister
Cast: Artie Ray, Sam Gilstrap, and Banji Osindero
Musical Consultant: Ben Makinen
BolderLife Festival: How did you find the idea for this play? What is your message?
Steven: Trayvon was a victim three times, first by George Zimmerman, then by the media and then finally in our Justice System. Having done many criminal interviews it was clear that George lied, but most troublesome was that the police did not followup with him. Then in the press Trayvon made a monster over and over again, he had no Facebook page when he died, but three appeared and were quoted within a week. Trayvon never was expelled, never caught with burglary tools or women’s Jewelry, had no marks on his hands from a fight and on and on. Finally in the trial critical evidence was excluded. The trial was great show to make people think that an effort was made, but by letting the defense run the court, critical evidence was not presented. I just hope people look at the facts about Trayvon, a fairly normal 17 year old boy that was hunted and murdered by a man with psychological problems. If we can not get Trayvon justice, perhaps some understanding beyond the untrue statements.
Sheila: It was an easy decision, this play has an important message. I believe it asks us to take a look at the biases that we may have as individuals and as a culture. Do we question where we get our information from and do we consider how that information influences us. 50 years ago today President John F. Kennedy was shot…. and just 5 years later Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And although, much of the blatant racism of that day is behind us, we see evidence of racial and cultural biases and how they influence our lives on a daily basis in 2013… as I believe it did in the trial and verdict of the Trayvon Martin case. It’s powerful to raise these questions and to make a statement that is not sentimental, that does not preach but, begs us to look deep within. Are we brave enough to honestly look at our own biases and how they keep us from living the most conscious and compassionate life possible.
Sam: I really wanted to work my director. The material, afterwards, really spoke to me. Thank you Sheila.
Artie: The play speaks more than others to me because it is based off an actual true event that happened and was not fairly played out. It addresses such a huge problem that is still so prevalent in today’s society… racism or social profiling.
Banji: I was really interested to do this play because I wanted to bring awareness this topic and I really though the piece was well written and gives me an opportunity to express myself through acting while covering an important subject for me.
BolderLife Festival: What are you doing when you are not writing/directing/acting for BolderLife?
Sheila: I am blessed to be an artist who acts, writes and directs when not doing it for BolderLife! And I’m incredibly honored to coach others in these endeavours. It’s an absolute joy to facilitate a process that allows other artists to find their authentic creative voice. I do believe that each of us is an artist in our own right.
Steven: I am a father of a new 20 month old baby girl, live in Sacramento California and am proud to be an author dealing with very real issues facing the world. I have written three novels: Arrow, about the transition from arrows to guns – Selling Flesh about the porn industry, human trafficking, and killing dreams, one girl at a time. The last novel, La Pinta, about the drug terrorist groups enslaving locals to produce drugs for the U.S. Market. The play, Trayvon – Killing Kings Dream, is one of ten short plays about how our perceptions of other, races, genders, orientations, religions and life styles, all shape life in America in both good and bad ways. When we overcome our fears the world is a beautiful place.
Artie: I own and run a company with my brother that is involved with the (medical) cannabis industry here in Colorado since 2010. I also bartend a few nights a week because I love the social aspect of it. I have a 13 month old daughter that involves a ton of my time and i LOVE that. Lastly, i still dabble in completed my second screenplay to continue being creative when not in a play or class.
Ben: I am writing music and making film for my companies Bmakin Music & Bmakin Film. I also spend as much time as possible with my two children: homework, cooking and counselling.
Banji: While I’m not acting with BolderLife I’m doing my best to still involved in the theater scene in Denver. This is my first year here in Denver and it’s taken a while to get use to things here but I’m working hard to get the hang of things.
BolderLife Festival: Why did you want to be a part of BolderLife? Have you been involved the years before?
Sheila: This was my first year with BolderLIfe. I got involved because I believe in it’s mission statement which echoes that of my own life… to live fearlessly with integrity, love, passion and compassion! To educate, inform and entertain by celebrating the human experience without censoring it but, by honestly revealing it for what it is… by being completely transparent.
Steven: I had decided long ago to never send a script to any contest because contests did not want to examine any difficult subject without bias. A wonderful writer, actor and mentor said that I should check out Bolder Life, I was very impressed and immediately submitted the play Trayvon – Killing Kings Dream – and am happy that I did. Love can have no fear and fear can not tolerate love. In my travels through life and around the world, people amaze me in wonderful ways. When we get past the things that divide us, like politics, religion and such, people all over the world want the same things – respect, love, family, and most of all a better life for our children. The “They, Them and Us” conversation fades over a cup of tea, misunderstanding becomes truth, each of our dreams from around the world are often the exact same. I have not been involved in the Bolder Life Festival before, but will definitely be there next year when my family schedule permits.
Banji: This was my first time with BolderLife and I think this is a great opportunity to be a part of a festival that has so much culture and brings different art forms to the public.
Ben: I enjoyed being part of any group people that chooses to “face truth with integrity.” This was my first year with BolderLife.
Artie: I’ve never been part of a festival and the whole vision behind it is inspiring to be part of something so positive.
BolderLife Festival: What do you think about BolderLife’s vision/mission statement?
Sheila: It’s courageous and brilliant. It’s a model as I say above for how I know I want to live my life. It’s about honoring who and what we are and how we choose to express ourselves with each other.
Steven: “To explore new ways of thinking, communicating and living” – can you imagine what our world would look like if we all lived that courageous process every moment of every day? As a writer I am very impressed with how the Vision and Mission statements are beautifully crafted and inspirational in concept and delivery.
Banji: I think it’s something I can really agree with. Life is meant to be lived, shared and experienced, and we should have the freedom to express life however we see fit.
Ben: It is right in keeping with the Mystic Path – that is seeking and sharing truth. Doing it with art rocks!
Artie: I think it’s on the right track to last several years and become a much larger and appreciated festival.
BolderLife Festival: What would you say to the world: Why should people come to the next festival?
Sheila: Why not come? I think is the better question! Why not come and be inspired… meet like minded people and share ideas and dreams! Perhaps to even be challenged to awaken a voice within that’s not yet had it’s say! Or simply to kick back and find oneself entertained by the musings of others!
Steven: LIFE – you know, that thing we do day after day, everyone that attends will see potential ways to improve their life. Come with an open heart, enter with dreams, quiet your confusion, strength from learning, your world expands – love is a drug of choice, no side effects but very addictive. When we love we are happier – when we are happier, we have less stress – Less stress we live longer – Could God make a stronger statement about how to live our lives?
Sam: People should to support new works with a message. Support BolderLife because they are providing a canvas for us in which to paint.
Banji: It’s a chance to be involved with great works of art and support a great cause.
Ben: Inspiration and new friendships often come from seeking out new experiences. You could find the love of your life at this festival! You will undoubtedly feel that you are participating in Denver’s creative and intellectual scene.
Artie: It spans an outstanding variety of performance art, programs and guests speakers that are designed for students along with adults of all ages. It’s educational as well as entertaining.
BolderLife Festival: Do you live a bolder life? What do you personally think how to live a bolder life?
Sheila: It is my intention to do just that. Most days are made of stretching myself … asking myself to evolve, to dig deeper, to reach farther, to trust more…. just so that I can sit more comfortably and quietly into the knowledge that I Am … and then to believe that I am enough. I find it a challenge at times to not succumb to an older world order that has taught me to trust in my fears… in my belief that I am somehow inadequate and undeserving and that I must try and prove my worth. Once I realize that I’ve sunk into that abyss I have an opportunity to find and know grace…. I must recommit my heart to striving to be true and fearless…. and in that moment a ‘bolder’ life is reborn. And I begin anew with a fresh perspective and hopefully the gift from the lessons that came from my stumble. Living a BolderLife, in my mind is about standing in ones integrity, living transparently and loving completely.
Steven: That is one damn hard question. I try every day to live a Bolder Life. It is a choice, it is also work to let go of preconceived thoughts, to not prejudge, communicate deeply, accept those things I do not like. Given time to think about things, I believe my goal is always based on love and respect, but like everyone, my first reactions are less nobel than I would wish them to be in some situations. My little baby girl is going to grow in a world that is both larger and smaller than the one I grew up in, my goal is to travel the world with her as a child so her understanding of people of all ages, medical histories, skin shades, religions, and economies will be from experience, not a book or web site. My prayer is that she will experience with her heart, trust her feelings and walk with courage when required. I live a Bolder Life by choice, but it is work, my child will live a Bolder Life because it is the life her experiences have shown her.
Sam: A bolder life should be filled with honesty. At some point the fears attributed to existence dwindle and the truth will emerge. Just breath and be.
Banji: From what I understand what it means to live a Bolder life and what it stands for. I think it means to have the power and courage to truthfully express yourself and to encourage others to do the same. And if I right and that what it means I can proudly say I do live a Bolder Life.
Ben: I do. I monitor my thoughts and emotions and physiology. I balance them through awareness and non-judgmental understanding. Basically that means redirecting or avoiding things that have the potential (the history) to unbalance me, while seeking and inviting the things that bring balance.
Artie: Well, let’s just say that everyday I try to better myself and further expand my understanding through a wealth of mediums of this crazy world we live in.
Thank you very much!