Award-winning playwright Cleavon Smith (The Flats, an Aurora audio drama) was named Aurora’s Originate+Generate 2021 commissioned artist. In Smith’s world premiere play, Thomas, a highly regarded public intellectual and author, is brought to the University of California at Berkeley campus to help facilitate conversations concerning extrajudicial police violence. A member of the UCB Black Student Union was violently beaten by an officer while peacefully protesting and the students find themselves rejecting Thomas’ middle-ground, #NotAllCops rhetoric. Miriam and Raz, leaders of the BSU, want immediate action, radical reform, and are sick-and-tired of having to rely on a corrupt system for justice. Nina, the Vice Chancellor of the University, is caught between the demands of the students to shut Thomas down, and loyalty to Thomas, her dearest friend from graduate school.
Cleavon Smith is a “Rock star local playwright.”
— SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE