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The Exonerated: A Play

Overview

What effect does it have on a person--a soul, a life--to have freedom and self-respect stripped away and then, ostensibly, returned years later after decades of incarceration? The Exonerated attempts to answer this question through the words of six innocent men and women who, after years in jail, emerged from death row to try to reclaim what was left of their lives.

Among them are Sunny Jacobs, a mother of two whose unwavering belief during sixteen years in jail that she would ...

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Overview

What effect does it have on a person--a soul, a life--to have freedom and self-respect stripped away and then, ostensibly, returned years later after decades of incarceration? The Exonerated attempts to answer this question through the words of six innocent men and women who, after years in jail, emerged from death row to try to reclaim what was left of their lives.

Among them are Sunny Jacobs, a mother of two whose unwavering belief during sixteen years in jail that she would be released (despite the execution of her husband, who was also innocent, for the same crime) allowed her to dedicate herself to being a "living memorial" when she was freed. There is Kerry Max Cook, a Texan who was convicted of murdering a young woman even though she was found with another man's hair grasped in her fist--a man whom "Texas killed a thousand times, and just keeps on doing it" in his nightmares. And there is Delbert Tibbs, a black Chicago poet who speaks of his years on death row with anger and bitterness, yet also, as he says, "still sings." All their stories have been compiled and edited by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen into The Exonerated, a play that is both a riveting work of theater and an exploration of the dark side of the American criminal justice system.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"[A]stark, spellbinding play [and] a profoundly moving excursion through the cracks in the justice system." -- Peter Marks, Washington Post

"An artful and moving evening of documentary theater . . . The play is on the one hand a devastating memorial to injustice but it also pays handsome tribute to the resilience of human hearts and minds." --Charles Isherwood, Variety

"Both compelling and deeply moving... This documentary-style presentation relating the true stories of people exonerated of their crimes while serving on death row is a riveting theatrical experience." --Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter

"Intense and deeply affecting"--Ben Brantley, The New York Times

Variety
Artful and moving...pays tribute to the resilience of human hearts and minds.
New Yorker
Stark...riveting...cunningly orchestrated.
Associated Press
Riveting. Simple, honest storytelling that demands reflection.
Hollywood Reporter
Hard-hitting, powerful, and socially relevant.
NY Times
The #1 play of the year...intense and deeply affecting...
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780571211838
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber
  • Publication date: 12/15/2003
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 575,919
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.26 (d)

Meet the Author

Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen are actors as well as playwrights. Married to each other, they live in New York

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2008

    'And yet we sing'

    I was also a jr. in High school when i was first introduced to and performed in the Exonerated. This is a play of great social relevance, addressing issues ranging from racial, political, ethical, philosophical, spiritual and many others. The lives and experiences of these men and women are simultaneously heartbreaking and inspiring.you really see their heart and soul shining through, you are drawn right into their lives,and guided by them through their darkest hours. I have chills every time i finish this play. it is engrossing and emotionally, intellectually charged from the first line to the last. it will always stay in my heart and my mind.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2005

    one of the best plays I've ever done

    I'm a junior in hign school right now, and my school has been fortunate to perform this show at festival. The show is GREAT!! and it has a really important that everyone should here.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

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