Talk-backs will be held at Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave., after each Sunday matinée performance of "Subway Story (A Shooting)," written and directed by William Electric Black, which will be presented February 22 to March 18. The talk-backs were developed to help elucidate for the play's audiences the pressures that drive the epidemic of gun violence in young people.

The play is the unfolding of an essay by an African-American teenage girl named Chevonn, which she must complete to pass junior English. It is supposed to be nonfiction but instead turns out surprisingly literary in style. In her composition, a troubled, abused high school student combs the subways, seeking to obtain a gun in order to shoot her mother. Her quest is narrated in a fantastical mashup of literary images that are part Lewis Carroll and part queasy reality, revealing issues affecting our children including alienation, discrimination, bullying and the easy availability of firearms. Chevonn's autobiographical tale strongly suggests how society needs to perceive the hopelessness that kids face and how this can make them lash out with guns or turn them on themselves.

The piece is the final installment of Mr. Black's five-play GUNPLAYS Series (, which has dramatized the epidemic of gun violence using differing approaches and theatrical styles.

February 22 to March 18, 2018
Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. (at E. 10th Street)
Presented by Theater for the New City 
Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 PM, Sundays at 3:00 PM
$15 general admission, $12 Seniors/Students, $10 groups
Box office (212) 254-1109,
Running time 85 min., critics are invited on or after February 23.
Photos are available at:

S C H E D U L E O F T A L K - B A C K S

Sunday, March 4 following 3:00 PM matinée:
"Gun Violence and Mental Health" with Dr. Olajide Williams

Dr. Olajide Williams obtained his medical degree from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. He completed his neurology residency and neuromuscular fellowship programs at the Neurological Institute of New York, Columbia University Medical Center, and received a Masters degree from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. He is an Associate Professor of Neurology at CUMC, Director of Acute Stroke Services at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and currently Chief of Staff/Chief Medical Officer of Neurology at Columbia University.

Dr. Williams is a recognized international leader in stroke education and community-based behavioral intervention research. He is a co-Principal Investigator and co-Director of one of four NIH/NINDS funded SPIRP U54 Centers for Stroke Disparities Solutions awards and the Principal Investigator of an NIH R01-level award, "RCT to improve stroke symptom recognition and response" which evaluates the effectiveness of "Hip Hop Stroke", an innovative multi-media school-based stroke education program he developed, that utilizes children as "transmission vectors" of stroke knowledge to their parents and grandparents. He is also the Founder of Hip Hop Public Health, a nationally recognized organization that creates and implements multimedia public health interventions that target the youth around the topics of childhood obesity, Alzheimer's disease, and stroke.

Dr. Williams teaches a clinical practice course and a neuroscience course to medical students at the college of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University and he is a key clinician-educator, a member of the Virginia Apgar Teaching Academy, and mentor of neurology residents. He has published numerous scholarly articles including the book "Stroke Diaries", and he has received many prestigious national, regional and local awards such as: the New York City Health and Hospital Corporation Urban Health Award for mitigating health care disparities, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University Distinguished Teacher Award, Columbia University department of neurology humanism in neurology award, a Gold Foundation Award for Humanism in Medicine and Excellence in Teaching, a National Humanism in Medicine Award from the Association of American Medical Colleges, American Heart Association Young Hearts Award, International Excellence in Medicine award, New York City and State Proclamations and Citations, and he was included on Fast Company magazines 100 most creative people in business in 2012 and the ROOT 100 most influential list for 2012.

Sunday, March 11 following 3:00 PM matinée:
"Curing Inner City Violence" with Iesha Sekou, CEO/Founder of Street Corner Resources

Street Corner Resources ( was born out of a concern over gun violence and gang activity among Harlem’s youth. In 2005, Iesha Sekou, a long standing community activist, decided to start a non-profit that would engage youth, provide resources to help them develop their God-given talents and be a bulwark against the ongoing trend towards violence in inner-city neighborhoods.

Since its inception, Street Corner Resources has lived up to its name by providing multiple resources to community youth. SCR’s activities have included workshops, such as "Rekindling the Inner Spirit to Succeed," a weekly radio broadcast (Street Corner Resources LIVE), a very active street presence ("Occupy The Corners"), the installation of the I AM PEACE Music Studio at a Harlem High School.

Street Corner Resources' most recent initiative is the "Cure Violence" program in Central Harlem. "Cure Violence" is a national program designed to eliminate gun violence in inner city neighborhoods.

Sunday, March 18 following 3:00 PM matinée:
"Life After Gun Violence: Voices Beyond the Wall" with Dana R, Boylan, Assistant District Attorney of Nassau County

Dana R. Boylan is Director of Community Re-entry Initiatives and Youth Development Programming for Nassau County. She is an experienced attorney who received her BS degree from St. John's University and her JD degree from Fordham University School of Law.   Her primary focus is on community relations and youth development.
She is a board member of several service-oriented nonprofit organizations and has been a board member of Women of Integrity, Inc. since 2013.    Her interests lie in collaborating to develop and implement initiatives and learning opportunities that serve to empower and further community and  youth development.
Partially raised in Jamaica West Indies, Ms. Boylan's  particular focus on prevention and youth development is born out of her acute understanding that education and mentoring are critical factors that shift personal outcomes and advance community and youth empowerment. She has been active in the area  of mentoring and youth outreach  for over 20 years.

Every Sunday:
Book Giveaway, "A Gun Is Not Fun"
At each Sunday matinée performance, author/director William Electric Black will give out twenty free copies of his children's book, "A Gun Is Not Fun" for parents and teens to bring home for preschoolers and first graders.

# # #