Teen Playwright Reimagines Zimmerman Trial in ‘Black Boy Fly’

By David BrownJune 13, 2014 6:18 pm

After graduating high school, many students work a part-time job, or simply relax over the summer before college. But Jordan Cooper is busy writing and producing plays.

The Texas Standard’s David Brown speaks with the 18-year-old playwright about his passion for drama. Coopers’ play “Black Boy Fly” is being performed at the Jubilee Theatre in the Dallas/Fort-Worth area this upcoming weekend.

The inspiration to write has been with Cooper ever since he was five-years-old. “I would always used to scribble things on a piece of paper and call everyone into the living room – and at 7 p.m. it was showtime,” he says.

Throughout his childhood, Cooper would produce plays by working odd jobs to pay for them out-of-pocket. This dedication attracted the attention of Tre Garrett, artistic director of the Jubilee Theatre. He invited Cooper to help stage a play of his own, with the proceeds going to Cooper’s college fund.

“Black Boy Fly” explores the George Zimmerman trial from a dramatic perspective.

The main character is a fictional young black man serving on Zimmerman’s defense team; the piece envisions the conversations and situations that would accompany the situation.

Cooper aims to create a conversation about race in his work. “I hope that’s what people take away from it, that they need to talk,” he says.