Before Ferguson, Eric, Baltimore or Sandra... On February 10, 2014, a 16-year-old boy attempted to rob an off-duty Cook County Sheriff at gunpoint. That boy, Deonta Mackey, was shot dead. Media coverage figured Mackey as another Chicago kid turned criminal, message boards referred to him as a "dumb nigger," and many even championed the officer as "heroic" in his self-defense. Free Street Theater's radically politicized ensemble of young performers, The Young Fugitives, felt differently.
The Young Fugitives' TRACK 13 takes the death of Deonta Mackey as a launching pad to
explore the history of crime and policing, the present-day realities of relentless racialized state
violence, and the impact of growing up in Chicago in communities under pressure. Written and
performed by young adults of color too often in the line of fire, TRACK 13 grapples to understand:
Why is it that fifty years after the Civil Rights Act youth are being shot by those enforcing the laws
their grandparents fought to change? As we chant #blacklivesmatter, are some deaths easier to
rally behind than others? How does state violence against Black women, Latinos or queer and
trans people fit into this equation? Are some youth really just "thugs?" TRACK 13 approaches
these questions in a 50-minute physical theater piece directed by Ricardo Gamboa with Sean
J.W. Parris and with an original soundtrack composed by Sadie Woods.
TRACK 13 first premiered to standing-room only crowds during January-February, 2015 and
marked the one-year anniversary of Mackey's death. While that run came to an end, police
violence against people of color has not. Free Street reunites Gamboa and The Young Fugitives
to kick-off their 2015-2016 season with an updated version of this urgent, provocative play.
TRACK 13 opens Friday, September 18 for a 6-week run: September 18, 25, October 2, 9, 16, 23
Free Street Theater
Pulaski Park Field House,
1419 West Blackhawk, 3rd Floor
All shows begin at 7:00pm; doors open at 6:30pm.
Track 13 is recommended for audiences 13 and over. During the 9/25 and 10/16 performances,
Free Street will provide arts, crafts and story activities for children ages 3-13 while their
caregivers attend the performance.
As part of Free Street's commitment to accessibility, Free Street's tickets are pay-what-you-can.