My Town

a one act drama

Please note:  MY TOWN is both a one-act, stage drama and a short (31 page) screenplay.

MY TOWN is based upon an actual murder that occurred in my town, Chico, California.  On the night of Saturday, January 13, 1979, Jimmy Campbell, a black, deaf youth was killed by three white youths who, unable to find "critturs" (deer) in the nearby foothills, returned to Chico seeking "dark meat.” 

https://www.newsreview.com/chico/content/another-senseless-murder/4325303/

When writing MY TOWN, I remember being intrigued by Gabriel Marcel’s distinction between a “problem,” and a “mystery.”  For the courts, the killing was something “out there.”  It was a "problem" to be studied from all angles (ending with “diminished capacity” in this case), and a legal decision could be passed. 

However, George, the central character, could not simply treat the killing this way.  As he explored deeper and deeper,  the killing became a “mystery.” 

Such acts move with us, never allowing us to evaluate it from “outside.” 

So it is with racism, the “why” of this young boy’s death.

https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/problem-mystery

MY TOWN is based on a true event, an actual racial murder, that occurred in my town, Chico, California.

A senseless racial murder compels a local reporter to go beyond the usual journalistic "story“ and delve deep into the horror of such a brutal act of hatred - an undertaking that brings him into conflict with his own personal values and those of the townspeople.

https://www.newsreview.com/chico/content/another-senseless-murder/4325303/

https://law.justia.com/cases/california/court-of-appeal/3d/117/894.html

https://www.chicoer.com/2012/01/15/victim-of-1979-racial-murder-remembered-in-chico/

https://www.newsreview.com/chico/content/growing-up-black-in-chico/1441442/


Workshopped at California State University, Chico. 
Winner of the George R. Kernodle Playwriting Competition.
Winner of the San Francisco Playwrights’ Unlimited Award.

 

 

MY TOWN (screenplay)

--SEMI-FINALIST, Filmmatic Short Screenplay Awards 2021.

--OFFICIAL SELECTION.  Toronto Indie Short, 2021

--OFFICIAL SELECTION.  New York Istanbul short Film Festival, 2021.

--HONORABLE MENTION.  Redwood Shorts and Scripts, 2021

--SEMI-FINALIST,  London Indie Short Festival, 11/25/21

--AWARD WINNER,  Phoenix Shorts Festival, 11/26/21

--AWARD WINNER, Gold Star Movie Awards, 11/30/21

--AWARD WINNER, Monza Film Festival, 12/1/21

--SEMI-FINALIST.  Berlin Shorts, 12/3/ 2021

--AWARD WINNER.  Only the Best, 12/3/ 2021

--Currently SEMI-FINALIST.  Florida Shorts, 12/14/ 2021

--Currently SEMI-FINALIST.  Kansas Arthouse, 12/20/ 2021

--Currently SEMI-FINALIST.  Sydney Indie Short Festival, 12/20/ 2021

--FINALIST.  Paris International Short Festival, 12/30/ 2021

--Currently SEMI-FINALIST.  Arthouse Festival of Beverly Hills, 1/1/22

--SEMI-FINALIST.  San Francisco Indie Short Festival, 1/2/2022

--QUARTER-FINALIST.  Vancouver Indie Short Festival, 1/4/2022

--AWARD WINNER.  Kansas Arthouse Festival, 1/6/2022

 

 

 


 

THE THREE:  "Man hopin’ to figure out that big why. But he just scratchin’ away at the surface. He wanna know more why we got ourselves hate, he gotta rip away at the blood, bone, tissue, diggin’ deeper and deeper, layer after layer ‘til all he got is the bits done scattered on the ground. Then he gotta try put them pieces together ‘fore he dies."

“Hatin’ is there, deep down.  You ain’t someone ‘lest you hate something or somebody.”