The Exonerated at Center Stage Playhouse

On Thursday night, I'll be attending a preview performance of the drama The Exonerated at Center Stage Playhouse.  Culled from interviews, letters, transcripts, case files and the public record, the play tells the true stories of six wrongfully convicted survivors of death row in their own words.

The ninety-minute play (no intermission) moves quickly between first-person monologues and scenes set in courtrooms and prisons. The six interwoven stories paint a picture of an American criminal justice system gone horribly wrong -- and of six brave souls who persevered to survive it.

The Exonerated won the 2003 Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards. Here are some of the raves written about it:

"The #1 play of the year... intense and deeply affecting..." -- The New York Times.

"Riveting. Simple, honest storytelling that demands reflection." -- Associated Press.

"Artful and moving... pays tribute to the resilience of human hearts and minds." -- Variety.

"Stark... riveting... cunningly orchestrated." -- The New Yorker.

"Hard-hitting, powerful, and socially relevant." -- Hollywood Reporter.

The Exonerated is directed by Holland Renton and stars Darek Black as David, Brad Crownover as Gary, Jared DeWese as Robert, Sandra Ehrlich as Sunny, Crystal Isaac as Georgia, Kevin Kelly as Male Ensemble, Elliot Robinson as Delbert, Eric Schuster as Kerry, Dennis Whetsel as Male Ensemble, and Basia Zak as Sandra/Sue.

Showtimes are Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m., and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m., February 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, and 13, 2011. The Preview Performance is on February 3.

General Admission $18, Seniors and Students $15

Center Stage Playhouse is located at Foster Hall, 2474 Westchester Avenue, Bronx, NY 10461.