The upcoming Theatre and Dance Program’s production of BUSTED! is a remarkable collaboration between faculty members Richard DesRochers and Amy Larimer, along with talented musicians, and Lehman multimedia performing arts students. The show opened on Wednesday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. at the Lovinger Theater and will run through March 11.
“We are exploring the notions of race and ethnicity in this show,” said DesRochers, the director of the Theatre Program, and an associate professor of theatre and multimedia performance.
Busted! draws on a variety of sources, including Czech writer Franz Kafka and vaudeville comedian Buster Keaton, as well as Dr. Michele Alexander’s much-discussed scholarly work, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. As DesRochers points out, “Keaton’s film, Cops, is about him being mistaken for a criminal and him fleeing the police. This is the plot of the whole story.”
This same fear of law enforcement is the focus of BUSTED!. In an era where there is great apprehension about constitutional violations in law enforcement practices, this production is nothing if not timely. “With BUSTED! we are partaking in civic engagement, cultural understanding, and political awareness,” DesRochers said.
During rehearsals DesRochers asked the racially diverse cast and crew if they’d ever been stopped and questioned by law enforcement without cause. He wasn’t surprised that “nearly everyone raised their hands.”
Student Fe Torres is the star of BUSTED! Last year, Torres won the National Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Award at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.
The show also features hip-hop DJ Far Fetch, with a score inspired by The Roots, Run DMC, the Beastie Boys, and Bob Marley.
Lehman College students can attend showings of BUSTED! from March 9 through March 11, performances will begin at 7 p.m. All performances are in the Lovinger Theatre. Students and seniors can purchase their tickets for $5, and the general public for $10 by visiting www.brownpapertickets.org.