This opera is based on the life of MarShawn McCarrel, a young political activist and talented poet from Columbus, Ohio. In his hometown of Columbus, he formed nonprofit organizations such as Pursuing Our Dreams, providing youth programming throughout the city, and Feed The Streets, a campaign that fed the homeless in and around his community. Active in the Black Lives Matter movement, he was a leader in community engagement and was awarded the NAACP Hometown Hero Award. MarShawn also suffered from depression and ultimately took his life on the steps of the Ohio State House on February 8, 2016.
MarShawn’s story is told through his own words. Using posts from Twitter and Facebook, along with his poetry and other quotes from news articles, we see the passion and courage of a talented young man who fought for justice and believed in the power of the people.
music: Joe Young
libretto: Social media posts and poetry by MarShawn McCarrel; Social media commentary by McCarrel's social media community; Excerpts fromnews articles; with additional original text by Joe Young. All text compiled by Joe Young.