Justice for Maurice Henry Carter

Written by:

Donald Molnar, Alicia Payne

Artist/Creator(s) Identify As:

Black

Cast Size:
6

Roles For:

  • Men: 4
  • Women: 2

Genre:

Drama

Themes:

Equity
Family
Forgiveness
Justice
Justice System
Prison
Punishment
Racism
Small Town

Length:

110 min.

Year Written:

2010

Synopsis:

Justice For Maurice Henry Carter is based on the true story of the enduring friendship between Doug Tjapkes and Maurice Carter, who spent 29 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. For over ten years, Doug helped Maurice fight for his freedom. Doug is White. Maurice is Black. While fighting for justice, they became brothers. An SATB choir/chorus plays members of the community and sing hymns, songs and traditional spirituals woven into the narrative line of the play.

Characters:

The play is designed to be flexible to accommodate an SATB (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass) chorus as small as four singing actors up to a mass choir.

The following suggested role distribution is for a cast of six with an SATB chorus of four singing actors.

DOUG: A white male in his sixties.
Also plays: Detective #2, and Keith Findley.

MAURICE: A black male in his sixties.

SATB CHORUS:

CHORUS #1: Black Female (soprano or alto): A Woman’s Voice #2, Maurice’s Mom, Gwen, Past Gwen, Third Voice, The Pink Lady, Lateesha, Wilbur’s Momma, Voice #5, Dream Voice #1, Dream Voice #4, Joyful Voice #2.

CHORUS #2: White Female (soprano or alto): Marcia, A Woman’s Voice #1, Voice #1, Ruth Schadler, Voice #3, First Voice, BBQ Voice #2, Bailiff, Voice #8, Nurse, Sandy Schadler, Journalism Student, Joyful Voice #1.

CHORUS #3: Black Male (tenor or bass): Wilbur Gilespie, Chaplain, Pastor Gulley, The Shooter, Voice #4, A Man’s Voice, Granny, Voice #6, The Trial Judge, Voice #7, Jerry, Dream Voice #2, Dream Voice #5, Prison Voice #2, Billy T. Boice, Joyful Voice #3.

CHORUS #4: White Male (tenor or bass): Cop, Sergeant Brown, Guard, Tom Schadler, Peter Perdomo, Voice #2, Policeman, Dispatcher, Second Voice, BBQ Voice #1, James Jesse, Interrogator, Prosecutor, Inmate on the phone, Judge Hammond, Dream Voice #3, John Rubitshun, Prison Voice #1, Prison Voice #3.

There is a call and response aspect to the choral work in the play. Chorus members are encouraged to riff using the text as a guideline.

Please note that, for a cast of six, the roles of Gwen and Past Gwen will be combined. It will be necessary therefore to omit a brief passage of dialogue on page 78 where Gwen introduces her daughter to Maurice.

A suggested role distribution is available for a cast of 10 with a double chorus of eight singing actors.

Please note that the cast size can be expanded to accommodate a mass choir.

Artists who are 2SLGBTQIA, People of Colour, Indigenous, and Peoples with Disabilities are welcome to be cast in this play.

First Produced:

Has not had a first production. A shortened version was presented in the Toronto Fringe Festival

Resources:

The play can be accessed by emailing Arbez Drama Projects at info@arbezdrama.com

Notes:

Justice for Maurice Henry Carter is a play with music.