A filmmaker known for tackling controversial subjects is fundraising for and planning a unique stage play about the circumstances surrounding 18-year-old Michael Brown's shooting death in Ferguson, Missouri, last August.
Documentarian Phelim McAleer's play, titled "Ferguson," will be unique in that it will be comprised entirely of the grand jury witness testimony that surrounded Brown's fatal shooting at the hands of former police officer Darren Wilson.
McAleer, who appeared on The Church Boys' Freefall Q&A interview series on Monday, revealed tidbits of what he learned while pouring over the 5,000 pages of witness testimony, and explained his reasons for staging the controversial play.
"I want to bring the truth to people. I want to do it in a dramatic way — in a way to get their interest and get them talking," he said. "So, it’s a play, but it’s verbatim based on the testimony from the Ferguson grand jury."
Listen to him discuss "Ferguson" below:
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McAleer also revealed some details surrounding what he learned about Wilson, the ex-police officer at the center of national controversy.
"You know, Darren Wilson… what you see is what you get, right? And he’s very plain spoken, and he’s very dedicated, and very, you know, focused on being a police officer," McAleer said. "And I think that counted against him because ... he wasn’t emotional, he was focused, and you see that from his witness testimony, from his training officer."
He continued, "I mean, not very many people know that Darren Wilson … a few years before had approached his training officer and said, 'You know, I feel I don’t know enough about the African American community. How can I get in there and find out more and be a better police officer for those people?'"
McAleer said that not a lot of people know that Wilson went into the community to help people well before the shooting unfolded, noting that this information was delivered under oath by his training officer.
"[Wilson] went in … not under any kind of scheme or, you know, community outreach by the police department. It was all his individual decision to do that," he explained.
McAleer said that the case and the details surrounding it serve as a lesson to media outlets that reporters must be skeptical and explore stories in a more detailed manner, as he said every person deserves the "same level of skepticism, of criticism, of critical thinking [and] of investigation."
"Ferguson" will unfold from April 26 through April 29 at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles, California, though the filmmaker said he hopes to eventually bring the show on the road — and to the very city that inspired its inception.
"I want to put a performance of this on in Ferguson, Missouri and in St. Louis. And I want people to see the truth of what happened on that day," he said. "I think the people of Ferguson deserve the truth and that the grand jury testimony come to their community in an unfiltered way that is acceptable to all."
After each showing of the play, the audience will have a chance to decide whether they would indict Wilson, based on the contents of the performance, which will consist solely of witness testimony.
McAleer is currently trying to raise $93,000 in a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo in an effort to stage the production later this month. His previous campaign for the feature film "Gosnell," about infamous abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, raised $2.25 million.
TheBlaze's Marissa Abbott contributed to this report.