“Resist” is not only a rallying cry of our political times; it was the seed of Ann Arbor-based playwright David Wells (“Irrational,” “Brill”) latest world premiere play at Theatre Nova.
Resisting, which runs Oct. 27-Nov. 19, grew out of a news story Wells read about what’s called “broken windows policing.” Born in New York City in the ‘90s, “It’s essentially a zero-tolerance approach, that was combined with ‘stop and frisk,’” said Wells. “(Broken Windows) started with a scholarly paper that suggested that … if one window in a building is broken, and it’s not fixed immediately, all of them will be broken. … So the police were compelled to start ticketing or arresting people for every little infraction, no matter how small — whether it’s jumping a turnstile, or jaywalking, or spitting in public. This led to a more antagonistic relationship between the police and the citizens they were supposed to serve. And these policies also only seemed to be applied in low-income neighborhoods.”
The article Wells read tracked the legacy of these policies, including a 2012 Baltimore incident involving Makia Smith who got stuck in traffic while coming home from a doctor’s appointment. When she saw police beating a young black man, she started filming the incident with her phone (which is legal). One of the officers involved grabbed it from her and smashed it, and she was charged with various offenses (resisting arrest, obstructing an officer, etc.).
“I used that story as the play’s jumping off point,” said Wells. “So much of what I was learning about was how much systemic racism there is in our justice system. And I thought, if I don’t know much about this, than most other people don’t, either.” READ THE REST HERE