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Riant Theatre Company Presents CODE OF SILENCE as Part of Strawberry Theater One-Act Festival, Now thru 8/31

The Riant Theatre has announced that it will stage CODE OF SILENCE a drama Inspired by the 1997 Infamous case in the Bronx, in which a NY police officer was Indicted for using excessive force on a teen and killing him, as a featured production within the Strawberry Theater One-Act Festival, today, August 20th through August 31st at the Theatre at St. Clement's, 423 West 46th St. in Manhattan.

Ripped from the headlines and inspired by the infamous case in 1997, CODE OF SILENCE depicts the shocking and unnerving true story that mirrors a similar case in the news today, in which a Bronx teenager by the name of Baez was killed by a police officer after being placed in an illegal chokehold after his football simply bounced off of the officer's patrol car.

The names have been changed, but the innocent victim is dead. The play unravels a web of deceit within a family whose 3 generations of cops protect one of their own with a CODE OF SILENCE.

The cast of CODE OF SILENCE features Shawnette Hamilton-Richardson, Gillian Leigh Visco, Benjamin Rowe, George Fearing, Joe E. Evans, Michelle Cammarata, Mary Leggio, Dara Richter, Cal Dickson, Isaac Ray-Dean, Sammy Urzetta, Linda Blackstock, Alberta J. Thompson, Maximillion, Maya Karp, Casey Fanous and Erin McGlover.

Writer and Director Van Dirk Fisher founded the Black Experimental Theatre in 1979. By 1991, the theatre group expanded to a loft in Tribeca and was renamed the Riant Theatre. The Riant Theatre became a multicultural, inclusive institution and in 1995, he launched the popular Strawberry One-Act Festival. He has produced over 1,500 one-act plays in The Strawberry One-Act Festival. This biannual theatre competition celebrated its 25th season in February 2014. He has published seven anthologies of The Best Plays from the Strawberry One-Act Festival and has directed and written several musicals including: Rock-A My Soul, No Name In The Street - The Biblical Story of Job, Somebody's Calling My Name; Sweet Blessings; Tracks; Loving That Man Of Mine, Dream Babies and Revelations. His dramas, which are inspired by real life news stories, include: A Sin Between Friends; The Banjo Lesson; Mixed Blessings; Hotel Paradise and The Atlanta Affair. His play Code of Silence has been compared to works by John Grisham and was pitched as a television series. For his accomplishments with the Riant Theatre, he earned the prestigious 2009 AUDELCO Special Achievement Award. Through Fisher, the Riant Theatre has a strong youth mentoring program, which provides internships for teenagers interested in the arts. The Riant Theatre's Youth Empowerment Awards gives scholarships to help young people attend college and pursue a career in entertainment. The Riant outreaches to the public to support the program through donations.

Set Design is by Jung Griffin, Lighting Design is by Marie Yokoyama, Sound Design is by Christopher Gillard, Stage Manager Is Nik Whitcomb.

Performances of CODE OF SILENCE begin on August 20th (Wednesday) at 8PM. Tickets to that opening night performance are $50 & $35 and the proceeds for the evening will benefit the Riant Theatre's Youth Empowerment Scholarship Awards, which provides scholarships to teenagers enrolled in college.

Performances of CODE OF SILENCE continue on August 21st (Thursday) at 8PM Tickets: $50 & $35; August 22nd (Friday) at 8PM Tickets: $35 & $25; August 23rd (Saturday) at 8PM -Tickets: $35 & $25; August 28th (Thursday) at 8:30PM -Tickets: $35 & $25; August 30th (Saturday) at 4PM & 8PM - Tickets: $35 & $25; and on August 31st (Sunday) at 2PM - Tickets: $50 & $35 and the proceeds will benefit the Riant Theatre's Youth Empowerment Scholarship Awards.

Tickets can be purchased online at or at the Theatre at St. Clement's box office 30 minutes prior to each performance.

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