The Syracuse Chapter of Jack and Jill is bringing “Cops and Robbers,” a play about police-community relations, to Syracuse Friday and Saturday, Mar. 20 and 21. The show features Jenho “The Piper” Ferreira, who identifies as an activist, rapper and deputy sheriff. The Piper’s emotionally charged story highlights the dysfunctional relationship shared by law enforcement, the media and the Black community.
Working with the Syracuse Chapter of Jack and Jill is George Kilpatrick, who does a lot of work aimed at engaging the Syracuse community.
“This show is especially important right now when conversations about police-community relations are getting a lot of attention,” Kilpatrick said.
According to Kilpatrick, this show is unique in how it comprises so many different perspectives and feelings about this subject matter into one show.
“Rarely do you have a prospective from law enforcement about the work that they have to do every single day,” he said. “Rarely do you have a perspective of community activism embodied in one individual. I think that this play offers a very powerful and revolutionary opportunity for our community; engaged in a way that they’ve never been engaged before.”
Ferreira plays 17 different characters, each introducing new perspectives and convictions to the audience.
“How powerful of an opportunity where the various perspectives of the community and law enforcement are displayed right in front of our very eyes by an individual that represents all of those things?” Kilpatrick added.
Kilpatrick is hoping that both shows will see a big turnout with a diverse crowd filling every seat in the audience. His goal is to get as many groups as possible together. He feels it is very important for different cross-sections of the community and its youth to be present.
The play will be shown in Onondaga Community College’s Storer Auditorium. The Friday show will begin at 7 p.m. and the Saturday show will begin at 2 p.m. followed by a special talk-back event where the audience can discuss the play and its themes.
Tickets cost $25 for adults and $15 for students and can be purchased at the door or online at syrjj.bigcartel.com. The show is rated PG-13.
— By Veronica Wheelock, The Stand staff reporter