Last Rites

Last Rites – World Premiere – August 22, 2019
PURE Theatre, Charleston, SC

Three strangers are trapped in a gas station that is in the middle of a riot zone on 12 th St. in Detroit, in 1967. Ron Szymanski, the middle aged, white owner of the station, reluctantly, shelters Esther Rollins, African-American, age 67, and Sydney Rozier, African-American, age 29, when they are endangered by the riots. The conversations, relationships, and conflicts among these three people and their reactions to the chaos out in the streets form the heart of the play. The interplay between these three diverse people exposes the history, social issues, and politics that have led to the violence that rages, just feet from where they are hiding. As the days pass, we watch three ordinary people confronting the rapidly changing landscape of their lives and the ultimate fate of the once-great city where they live. Last Rites is centered on some of the racial issues that affected us more than 50 years ago and that still dominate our society today.

In 2018, Last Rites was a finalist in the Blue Ink Festival at the American Blues Theatre in Chicago and at Future Fest at the Dayton Playhouse.

“A thought-provoking, riveting, multi-media-accented account of race, communication, and desire for understanding.” The Dayton Daily News