In a group of 4, we worked to write and perform verbatim a verbatim play depicting Alan Gimenez's experience of being wrongfully convicted of murdering his daughter, Priscilla, by shaking her to death. He was sentenced to life in prison based on Priscillas symptoms of Shaken Baby Syndrome, despite previous health conditions that destined her to have complications for her entire life.
This project was challenging and rewarding in many ways. First, it was challenging to find a time and date that coordinated well with Mr. Simpsons schedule in order to conduct an interview, and even once we were able to accomplish that, Mr. Simpson was interrupted by an important court call. We were able to conduct our interview with Mr. Simpson after it was delayed for about an hour. The interview was an incredibly insightful conversation, and we were able to get an authentic insight to Alan Gimenez's story.
Here is how the process to our final script happened:
1. Our first step was to contact Mr. Simpson and set an interview with him. Once we interviewed him, we listened to our recording of it and created an interview map. This was a rough layout of our conversation that would later help us form it into a script.
Abraham, Chris, and Itzel, right before our performance.
This project taught me about the importance of media and advocacy. I had never heard about any of the California 12, but I had the opportunity to work with them because of their activity with many partners in the community. I also learned that transcribing a conversation is a long, painstaking process, but it's one that produces some of the best, most natural pieces of writing. I loved the way that our play effortlessly told a compelling story through Mr. Simpson's words. A painful lesson that I learned while exhibiting at the Onstage Playhouse was that I need to carry more quarters in my car, just in case I need to pay a meter to park for 3 hours in downtown Chula Vista. I learned this one the hard way, unfortunately. Overall, I grew a lot with my experience working on XONR8 Theater, and I'm proud to know that my class served a meaningful purpose through this project.