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For Bo: A Play Inspired by the Murder of Botham Jean by Officer Amber Guyger

Texas Christian University

Theatre TCU and Black And Making It will host a staged reading of a new original play, For Bo: A Play Inspired by the Murder of Botham Jean by Officer Amber Guyger, on the TCU campus during Black History Month. Through a fictional narrative, For Bo explores the issues that lead to Jean’s death and how society grapples with the resulting trauma.

Following the staged reading, an interdisciplinary panel of representatives from across the TCU campus and other community leaders will join the all-student cast and playwright and director Ayvaunn Penn for a discussion to promote cross-cultural understanding. Penn, a Theatre TCU professor, was inspired to write For Bo while closely following media coverage of the aftermath of Jean’s death, including watching the murder trial of Amber Guyger unfold in real-time. 

Theatre TCU’s staged reading of For Bo exemplifies its commitment to fostering talent, creativity and exploration of new work among students and faculty; this event will mark the first time For Bo is performed for a public audience.

The community panel discussion, moderated by Dr. Stacie McCormick from the TCU Department of English, will include Adrian Andrews, assistant vice chancellor of public safety; Robert Arrowwood, a Ph. D. psychology student; Dr. Andrew Ledbetter, professor of communications studies, Dr. Michael Miller, dean and executive vice president of Brite Divinity School; Rev. Dr. Russ Peterman, senior minister of University Christian Church; Aisha Torrey-Sawyer, director of diversity and inclusion initiatives; and representatives from the TCU Counseling Center. 

ABOUT FOR BOFor Bo is part of a movement started by Penn’s organization, Black And Making It, which promotes black excellence in all art mediums and education. The #ForBo Initiative aims to use the performing arts as a catalyst for positive social change by fostering conversations that heal racial divides through empathy, examining issues within the American criminal justice system and promoting healthy relationships between all, but especially African-American civilians and police officers. Other #ForBo Initiative participants include the University of South Carolina Aiken and KD Conservatory College of Film and Dramatic Arts. To join the initiative, educational institutions and arts organizations are encouraged to host a staged reading and community discussion of their own.

The event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited, and an advanced seat reservation is required.

WHEN: Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m.

WHERE: Betsy and Steve Palko Hall in room 130 at TCU, 2800 S. University Dr., Fort Worth, Texas 76129. Visitor parking is available in the lot next to the Palko building.

TICKETS: Free and open to the public with advanced seat reservations.

For more information, visit theatre.tcu.edu and blackandmakingit.com.


Theatre TCU is a nationally recognized professional training program that offers students a comprehensive atmosphere of academic and artistic excellence on the Texas Christian University campus in Fort Worth, Texas. The Department of Theatre produces eight shows each academic year, as well as frequent co-productions with local professional theatres. For more information, visit theatre.tcu.edu.

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