brownsville song


Production dates: January 25, 2017 – March 26, 2017 in the Gompertz Theatre

The Story:

In this poignant drama about family, loss, grief, and hope, Kimber Lee introduces us to Tray Thompson, an eighteen-year-old young black man doing everything right in the violent neighborhood of Brownsville in Brooklyn. Tray is shot and killed after being in the wrong place at the wrong time during a gang dispute. His grandmother Lena, his sister Devine, and his stepmother Merrell must come to terms with his loss, while dwelling on the life he left behind, and discover how they must live together in the space he left behind. This play presents just one example of how the cycle of poverty and violence are killing our black men and boys, through the lens of one young black man. He is not just a statistic, not just a one-day local headline; he is a person with triumphs and losses, strengths and flaws. He was a human being, a brother, a son, a grandson, a scholar, and a boxer, and his name was Tramaine Berry Thompson.

The Forum Question

Forums Question: brownsville song

Chief Judge Charles E. Williams, Circuit Judge of the 12th Judicial Court and Steering Committee Chair posed this question for this year’s online discussion. Read his bio by clicking here. The Question 2016 was one of the most violent years in Chicago’s history with a final tally of 762 homicides.

Blogs from brownsville song

Black Lives Matter – The Mothers of the Movement

By Jordan Nickels | “We must bring awareness…. Don’t wait until tragedy knocks on your door.” Gwen Carr, Mother of Eric Garner. What started as a hashtag became a movement. After the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, a group came together to start the Black Lives Matter Movement to…

Center Stage to Center Ring: The Real Tray

By Jordan Nickels | Theatergoers know about playwright Kimber Lee’s poetic play brownsville song (b-side for tray), showing how the family copes with the death of 18 year-old Tray Thompson. But what many don’t know is this play is based on a true story of 20 year-old Tray Franklin Grant, an aspiring boxer from Brownsville, Brooklyn….

What is Pay What You Can Night?

By Jordan Nickels | Theatre has always been a great form of entertainment and a community voice, opening up a dialogue about certain issues. Florida Studio Theatre has always made it a primary goal to “creating the best in contemporary theatre at an affordable price.”

Calculating the Poverty Line

By Jordan Nickels | brownsville song (b-side for tray) is set in Brownsville, Brooklyn in New York City, considered by most a slum and dangerous neighborhood that lives under the poverty line. However, this is the neighborhood that the young characters, especially Tray and Devine, inhabit in this play.

The Pen and The Trigger Finger

By Jordan Nickels | Theater is a constant reflection of the United States. Unfortunately, we live during a time in this country where gun violence is rapid and too frequent, which changes the narrative. Which begs the question, how do we handle such a topic on stage?

Upcoming Events – Visible Men Academy

Teamsters National Black Caucus and Concert with a Cause are partnering with Visible Men Academy to provide some upcoming events for the community. Visible Men Academy serves students from Manatee and Sarasota Counties from lower income communities. For more information, please see below: Teamsters National Black Caucus adopts Visible Men Academy On Saturday, March 25th at 6:00…

“Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes”A Class Divided

By Jordan Nickels | How do you teach white students about discrimination and racism? The day after Martin Luther King Jr. was killed, a small town Iowa teacher named Jane Elliott prepared an experiment for her class. This lesson was called “Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes,” where she would treat her students who had blue eyes as…

From the Dialogues on Diversity 2016-2017 Forums Season