San Jose, CA (PRWEB) August 10, 2004
Thousands of viewers have raved about the critically acclaimed autobiographical play by and about comedian, activist and educator Carl Ray. Della Productions now brings a candid and soul stirring documentary adaptation of Ray's spellbinding play "A Killing in Choctaw" directed by award winning filmmaker Chike Nwoffiah, co-founder and artistic director of the celebrated Oriki Theater. While being questioned by a white man in 1962, in the small town of Butler, Choctaw County, Alabama, an 18-year-old Ray responded by saying "yes" and "no" instead of "yes, sir" and "no sir," which were the customary responses when addressing white people. He was severely beaten for being disrespectful. An hour later, the man went to RayÂs home and shot his father eight times as Ray looked helplessly on. ÂA Killing in ChoctawÂ will premiere on Sunday, September 19, 2004 at Montgomery Theater, 291 So. Market Street, San Jose, Ca. Tickets for the 4:00 p.m. premiere are $30. Tickets may be purchased online at http://www.urbanevents.com or by calling 408-668-2578 or 408-259-6516.
"A Killing in Choctaw" is an enthralling documentary on Ray's life and how the dreadful incident of 1962 defined his life and held him prisoner in his own skin for over 20 years. Ray's compelling story comes alive under Nwoffiah's masterful direction. Nwoffiah effectively blends narration, reenactment, archival footage, and interviews with actual witnesses of the murder and trial participants. The documentary takes us back to the 1960s and sets the social context that bred many such horrific crimes. We then follow the subsequent trauma, depression, and denial that young Ray suffered and endured for over 20 years until he met a man in 1984 that taught him about the power of forgiveness. Ray attributes the act of forgiving the man who killed his Father as saving his life. He describes it as being the most enjoyable moment of his life and a day of freedom from his self-imposed prison.
"A Killing in Choctaw is a haunting awakening to the affects of America's age-long racial injustice," said Nwoffiah. "It is a documentary that celebrates the triumph of light over darkness."
About Carl Ray:
In 1967, Carl Ray graduated from Tuskegee Institute with a BS Degree in Electrical Engineering. After graduation, he traveled to California to begin a career in the Aerospace Industry. Early in his career, he was sidetracked by a yearning to perform stand-up comedy.
Carl Ray started a Youth Opportunity Program in East Palo Alto in 1968; began recruiting youth to attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities in 1970; then undertook sponsoring tours to the colleges. Ray continues to host Spring and Fall tours to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). To date, he has chaperoned more than 2,000 students on HBCU tours.
In 1988, Ray, together with his wife, founded Courtland Esteem School - a private school in San Jose, California - where they continue to educate young African American children in grades one through six.
Carl Ray has performed "A Killing in Choctaw" live nearly 100 times at theaters, churches, colleges, museums and other venues throughout the United States.
To learn more about Ray's fascinating biography, please visit http://www.carlraye.com
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