sealPurdue News

March 27, 2003

New Directional Players explore police brutality in new play

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue University Black Cultural Center's theatrical ensemble, New Directional Players, will present a drama entitled "Split Second" on Sunday, April 13.

The play, written by Dennis McIntyre, will be performed at 7 p.m. in Stewart Center's Fowler Hall. It explores the concept of truth and what people deem to be right and wrong. The play is set in New York City on July 4, 1984, the hottest day of that year. An off-duty police officer, Val Johnson, witnesses William H. Willis stealing a car. The chance encounter leads to a life-altering confrontation between the officer and the criminal.

William Caise, the BCC artist-in-residence who directs the play, says the audience will witness the consequences of a "split second" brutal encounter, which leaves both men permanently changed.

"It is common that we look at police brutality from the perspective of the victim," Caise says. "This time we look at the incident from the perspective of the police officer and the people around him. 'Split Second' will inspire the audience to critically think about reoccurring events throughout history."

Tickets, which are $5 for students and $7 for the general public, will be sold at the door.

The New Directional Players, which was formed in 1971, presents theatrical productions that explore thought-provoking subjects related to the black experience. The ensemble performs dramatic monologues, poetry and musicals, in additional to plays.

CONTACT: William Caise, (765) 494-3056,; Olateju Omolodun, BCC assistant director, (765) 494-3095,

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: Media are welcome to cover the performance, however, video, audio taping and still photography are not permitted.

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page