BRATTLEBORO -- A dramatic reading of "Project Unspeakable," a new play about the 1960s assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy, will be presented on Saturday at 7 p.m., at New England Youth Theater, 100 Flat St.

"Project Unspeakable" was inspired by James Douglass’ groundbreaking book, "JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters." It was written by playwright Court Dorsey and associate playwrights Debbie Lynangale and Steve Wangh (author of "The Laramie Project"), based on extensive research. Like the book, the script focuses not on how the four leaders died, but why.

Through the medium of live theater, the playwrights’ intention is to challenge the silence that for decades has surrounded these four "unspeakable" assassinations, "unspeakable" being a term coined by Trappist monk Thomas Merton. By reading the play, local citizens hope to shed light on the "unspeakables" of today -- the officially covered-up crimes on the part of elements within the U.S.government and their corporate allies that have led to or worsened the multiple crises that currently beset our country and the world.

The play includes the words and stories of courageous individuals who, despite government intimidation, refused to be silent about what they knew about these assassinations.


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And it calls on all of us to examine our own responses over the years to such crimes, then and now, and to consider the potential for responsible action.

Since its debut on Nov. 22, the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, the script has been read in dozens of towns and cities around the country. Sixteen volunteers from the local community will perform the Brattleboro reading. They include Frederic Noyes as John F. Kennedy, John Ungerleider as Robert F. Kennedy, SIT Graduate Institute Dean Daniel Cantor Yalowitz as John Foster Dulles, and Professor Amilcar Shabazz, chair of UMass Dept. of Afro-American Studies, as Malcolm X.

The reading is open to the public. Donations of $10 to cover expenses will accepted. Tickets will be available at 6:30 p.m., at the theater, by cash or check.

For more about this event, contact Bob Bady at 802-254-7750. For more information about the "Project Unspeakable" national program, visit www.projectunspeakable.com.