The Commissary, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, and New Neighborhood to Present Crystal Dickinson, Peter Gerety, Peter Mark Kendall, Shane McRae and Marin Ireland in Virtual Reading of WHY WOULD I DARE: THE TRIAL OF CRYSTAL MASON, Oct. 13-Nov. 2

Crystal Dickinson. Photo by Lia Chang

The Commissary, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, and New Neighborhood will present Why Would I Dare?: The Trial of Crystal Mason, a virtual reading of the court transcript from the 2018 trial of Crystal Mason. Audiences will witness Mason’s legal ordeal brought to life as she fights for her freedom, her family, and her right to vote. This free, online event is produced with the support of Crystal Mason, an advocate for voter rights. It will begin streaming on October 13 at 7pm and continue through November 2, 2020.

To rebuild her life after prison, Crystal Mason attempted to vote in the 2016 election but was arrested and accused of casting a fraudulent vote. Why Would I Dare?: The Trial of Crystal Mason follows her harrowing fight against another five years in prison as neighbors testify against her newfound freedom and integrity as a Black American mother.

Directed by Tyler Thomas and conceived by Thomas, Marin Ireland, Reggie White, and Peter Mark Kendall, Why Would I Dare?: The Trial of Crystal Mason features Crystal Dickinson (Bruce Norris’s Clybourne Park, Showtime’s “The Chi”), Peter Gerety (Amazon Prime’s “Sneaky Pete”), Peter Mark Kendall (FX’s “The Americans,” CBS’s “Strange Angel”), Shane McRae (Lucy Thurber’s The Hilltop Plays, Amazon Prime’s “Sneaky Pete”), and Marin Ireland (Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, Clifford Odets’ The Big Knife, Martyna Majok’s Ironbound).

The creative team includes production design by You-Shin Chen, sound design by Megumi Katayama, Associate Director Rebecca Kenigsberg, and Production Stage Manager Clarissa Marie Ligon. Special thanks to Talene Monahon and Dan Aibel.

Leading regional theaters across the country are partnering with The Commissary, Rattlestick, and New Neighborhood on this event, and include Celebration Theatre, Dorset Theatre Festival, Fonseca Theatre, Geffen Playhouse, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Luna Stage, Marin Theatre Company, Mirrorbox Theatre, Delaware’s Resident Ensemble Players, Round House Theatre, Studio Theatre (DC), and Warehouse Theatre. They will be sharing this event with their audiences which will lead to thoughtful discussions around the work.

Online reservations are encouraged. Please visit for more information.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

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