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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Real Stories of injustice basis of South play Exonerated

Wesley Harris portrays Delbert, a falsely accused prisoner in the South Campus production of The Exonerated. The drama by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen opens Oct. 6. Photo by Austin Craver/The Collegian
Wesley Harris portrays Delbert, a falsely accused prisoner in the South Campus production of The Exonerated. The drama by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen opens Oct. 6. Photo by Austin Craver/The Collegian

By Mona Lisa Tucker/south news editor

South Campus kicks off its theater season Oct. 6-8 with The Exonerated, a play written by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen.

Theater director Lindy Benton-Muller said The Exonerated tells the true stories of six people, wrongfully convicted of crimes, sentenced to death and released years later.

Although their sentences were overturned, it was an uphill battle to put back together the pieces of their shattered lives, she said.

Benton-Muller said The Exonerated had been on her mind from the time she heard about it because it’s authentic.

“All the words in the show are things that real people said,” she said.

Student Caitlin Reed plays the roles of a defense lawyer and Sue and Sandra, the wives of characters Kerry and Gary.

“It’s true, and it makes you wonder, ‘You know what, maybe something is messed up with our system. Maybe the death penalty isn’t such a good thing to have,’” she said.

Student Wesley Harris portrays Delbert, who was falsely accused back in the ’70s. Delbert is the elder of the characters and knows what it takes to survive behind prison walls, he said.

“It never really pops out at you until it’s thrown in your face that people have lived this existence and been wronged in a great way,” he said.

South student Brandon Davis plays David, a Christian who changed his whole point of view about God after he went to jail, he said.

The Exonerated tells how the characters got into the situation and how the justice system still has problems, he said.

“Because it’s a lot more than what people may see, behind the scenes, that’s what needs to be seen,” he said.

After trying out for the play and reading the script, Timothy Crab said he wanted to do it because it deals with a relevant topic.

Student Andrea Buckner loves to act and is excited about the cause the play has to offer.

“It delves into the issue of race a lot, and that’s something that people don’t really like to get into, but I think it’s necessary,” she said.

The cast is not saying police officers are bad, but that the justice system has some flaws in it, Benton-Muller said. They are just asking people to think about the fact that this could happen to anyone of us, she said.

“I want them to be different when they leave than when they came in the door,” she said.

Performances are free for all TCC students, faculty and staff. Tickets are $3 for non-TCC students and senior citizens and $6 for the general public.

Tickets are sold at 7 p.m. on the day of the performance at the box office. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6-8.

Late seating is not allowed.

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