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March 8, 2004
DH-04 TK 020
Contact: Thomas Knox
(310) 243-3367



Media Advisory

“Zooman and the Sign” to be staged
at California State University, Dominguez Hills

CARSON, Calif. – “Zooman and the Sign,” a play about “urban black-on-black crime,” will be staged in the Edison Studio Theatre at California State University, Dominguez Hills, beginning March 12 and ending March 21. Performances will begin at 8 p.m. on March 12, 13, 19 and 20, and at 2 p.m. on March 14 and 21.

WHAT: CSUDH Theatre Arts Department presentation, “Zooman and the Sign”

WHERE: California State University, Dominguez Hills, Edison Studio Theatre, 1000 E. Victoria St., Carson 90747

WHO: Directed by Donis Leonard, CSUDH assistant professor of Theatre Arts

WHEN: March 12, 13, 19 and 20, at 7 p.m., March 14 and 21 at 2 p.m.

“Zooman and the Sign” illustrates the aftermath of what is commonly called “black-on-black” crime where young male African Americans often kill one another during turf battles and for gang dominance. Jinny Tate, a 12-year-old girl sitting on the stoop of her Philadelphia home, is shot and killed in the crossfire of two rival gangs. Over the next few days, Jinny’s grief-stricken family struggles to cope with not only the murder but also the refusal of fearful neighbors to come forward with eyewitness accounts.

Neighborhood tension mounts when Jinny’s father erects a large sign on his porch embarrassing his neighbors and challenging them to come forward to identify the killer. Zooman, Jinny’s suspected killer, shows no remorse as he delivers a series of monologues directly to the audience.

The play is directed by Donis Leonard, artistic director of the CSUDH Black Theatre program. “This play is the most important work that I’ve directed at CSU Dominguez Hills in terms of its social and moral relevance to the urban communities we serve,” Leonard said. “The story of Jinny Tate and her family could have easily been set in Compton, Watts or South Los Angeles where gangs and ‘black-on-black’ crime are alive and well.” Leonard said the play’s author, Charles Fuller, argues responsible citizens must take a stand and fight back against the criminal elements that plague their communities.

General admission tickets cost $10 and $8 for students and seniors. Parking tickets for this event can be purchased for $2 from the yellow dispenser located at the entrance to the CSUDH parking lot at the intersection of Victoria Street and Tamcliff Ave. For more information, call (310) 243-3589. This play contains strong language and violent themes. Viewer discretion is advised.

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California State University, Dominguez Hills • 1000 E. Victoria Street • Carson, California 90747 • (310) 243-3696
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Last updated Wednesday, March 10, 2004, 8:03 am, by Stephanie Brown (sb)