Controversial Cop Drama SPLIT SECOND Comes To New Vibe Lounge
A controversial police drama that triumphed Off Broadway nearly forty years ago but seems more timely than ever before, is coming to Rockville Centre's New Vibe Lounge.
Dennis McIntyre's Split Second, which was produced by the award winning Negro Ensemble Company in 1984, comes to The Vibe as a staged reading production for one performance only on Sunday November 17 at 7pm.
The production is directed by acclaimed playwright and producer David Heron (Against His Will) and features fast rising actor James Duke Walker (television's Diabolical and The Marvelous Maisel) in the lead role.
Set in New York City in the late 1970's, McIntyre's explosive drama is a searing examination of racism, social justice and police procedure.
On a hot summer night in Manhattan, an African American police officer, Val Johnson (Walker) arrests a young white man as he attempts to steal a car. What starts out as a simple arrest quickly escalates into a dramatic confrontation which results in the suspect being shot and killed by a bullet from Johnson's gun.
Was it murder, self defense, justifiable homicide? Or something else?
Johnson must find the answers as he faces questions from those closest to him, including his wife, his captain and his father- a former police officer himself.
According to director Heron, the choice of the play for The Vibe's ongoing play reading series is both timely and appropriate.
"The productions we present at Vibe are always selected with a view to engaging the audience in a meaningful way about issues that pertain to us here and now," he says. "And what is astonishing about Split Second is that it was written and first produced nearly four decades ago, yet here we are still debating police conduct, inequality within the criminal justice system, and treatment of suspects being taken into custody or already there. But in the era of the BLACK LIVES MATTER movement, the fact that in this case the cop is black and the suspect is white, takes the story into a whole other dimension. Do lives of all races really have the same value when it comes to policing? This play has never had more relevance than it does now and I am very excited to see how audiences will receive it."
Split Second is being presented at The Vibe as part of the venue's November to Remember holiday promotions. The season kicks off with renowned live music band Derrick Barnett and the Statement Band in concert on Friday November 15 at 7pm.
The New Vibe Lounge is located at 60 North Park Avenue, Rockville Centre, NY 11570. The Vibe is open Thursdays from 4pm to midnight and Fridays and Saturdays from 4pm to 4am.
Tickets for Split Second are available online at splitsecondtheplay.eventbrite.com for $35 and for $40 at the venue on showday (if available). The show will be followed by an audience discussion with the cast and director and a cocktail reception courtesy of Golden Krust Caribbean restaurant. The play contains adult language and content. For further information contact 424- 256- 6574.
PHOTO- Actor James Duke Walker