About the Show
Allegorically told, Death by a Thousand Cuts: A Requiem for Black and Brown Men candidly unearths the raw experiences of melanated men. Drawing from the joy, pain, and the trauma of surviving in America, this is a requiem 400 years in the making. Read more here.
This theatrical read is presented in partnership with M.A.D. Content Productions.
Can’t attend? Please consider supporting M.A.D. Content Productions by donating here.
Steve Driffinhe/him Playwright/Director
Steve Driffin was born in New Haven, CT, but raised in Brooklyn, New York and in South Carolina. He completed undergraduate school at the University of South Carolina and eventually moved back to his birthplace. He is an award-winning screenwriter and playwright whose plays have sold-out venues in Connecticut. His theatrical launch began when he used some of the most notorious street corners in New Haven as a stage. His stories center around love, redemption, social justice, and relationships.
Steve believes that his storytelling ability was passed down through his ancestors and elders—the griots—who were not historically allowed to read or write their own stories and he honors their gift by writing. One of Steve’s dreams was to produce a play at Long Wharf Theater and now his dream has come true.
Jason Hallhe/him Green
JASON HALL (he/him), often referred to as PHENIX, his stage name, is a theater alumnus from Southern Connecticut State University. Past credits include Collective Consciousness Theater’s Jesus Hopped the A Train; Skeleton Crew; Stop Kiss; and Polaroid Stories. Jason is the co-writer of Rebirth’s Arts Collective play, Letters from the Sky. He is also the founder of Bridgeport’s first improv troupe Never Say No.
Sharmont (Influence) Littlehe/him Gold
SHARMONT (INFLUENCE) LITTLE (he/him) is a Poet, Writer, Actor, and Workshop Coordinator from New Haven, CT. Truly passionate about acting and spoken word, Influence has performed at venues such as NYC’s Nuyorican Poetry Café and the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, MA. including Yale, Virginia State University, Boston University, and numerous public schools. Influence grew his legacy, winning poetry slams nationwide. He is a five-time member of the CT Slam Team Verbal Slap, a coach of the 2017 team, and Grand Slam Champion. Influence is also the founder of Influence a Life, LLC—a business that focuses on teaching coping skills, social skills, and conflict resolution via the art of spoken word.
Stephen Kinghe/him Red
STEPHEN KING (he/him) is a 29-year-old professional music composer, producer and actor from New Haven, CT. He has performed his musical talents, whether it be sax or piano, across stages such as cafe 9, the Shubert Theatre, the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, Brooklyn Bowl, the Rockwood Music Hall, and many more in-between. As an actor, Stephen has performed with Collective Consciousness Theatre, The Whitney Players, the Round Table Players, and individual works by Playwrights. Motivated by his drive to become great in the arts, his love for theater and music keeps him humble. Always a student, Stephen is always learning and staying true to the arts and the power it has on the people who receive it.
Rodney T. Moorehe/him Black
RODNEY T. MOORE (he/him) is a seasoned actor and independent filmmaker originally from New Haven, CT. Mr. Moore has performed theatrically on stages in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and in Connecticut at venues such as: Long Wharf Theater, Cabaret Theater, Palace Theater Stamford, the Seven Angels Theater, Fairfield Theater Club, and The Klein Memorial Theater. Besides being a talented actor, Rodney is also a dedicated husband, father, and grandfather. His other passion is working with non-custodial fathers and men returning home from incarceration as the Fatherhood Coordinator for New Haven Healthy Start at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.
Mercedes Shermanshe/her Panel Facilitator
Mercedes Sherman is an expert at communication and excels at engaging others. For more than twenty years, she has perfected her communication skills within the non-profit sector as a Director of Human Resources and Operations Management. As a senior leader, she has provided oversight to residential and community-based programs and facilitated trainings on Urban Trauma, Vicarious Trauma, Cultural Humility, and Ethics & Boundaries. Ms. Sherman is a member of the Mad Content Production Team and operates as Script Supervisor and Panel Facilitator. In addition to her passion for the performing arts, she also has a love for education and currently has Master’s degrees in Social Work, Business Administration and Management from Fordham University and Albertus Magnus and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Black Studies from Wellesley College.
Eric Reyhe/him Panelist
Beginning his career in workforce development gave Eric a formative opportunity to help people prepare to contribute to an organization. Transitioning from workforce development to coaching, and facilitation helped him to hone his relationship building skills. Skills that would be updated and developed by participating in programs like the Leadership Development Roundtable, Community Leadership Program, Yale School of Management’s Interpersonal Dynamics, Group Relations training, Story Week, and numerous other workshops and seminars focused on building personal power to affect change. His formal training at the Co-Active Training Institute earned him a designation as a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC). Eric founded the Black Obsidian Men’s Group (www.blackobsidianhealing.com) with a focus on building a space of healing and growth for people who identify as black and people who identify as men. Eric is a grounded heart centered facilitator and coach dedicated to working on justice issues and building belonging.
Erik Clemonshe/him Panelist
Erik is co-founder of the Connecticut Community Outreach and Revitalization Program (ConnCORP) a subsidiary of ConnCAT designed to explore and implement opportunities for economic development and investment in New Haven
Prior to founding ConnCORP, Erik was the founding CEO and President of the Connecticut Center for Arts and Technology (ConnCAT), a non-profit organization based on the model of Bill Strickland’s National Center for Arts and Technology, which is dedicated to creating empowering art-based educational environments for at-risk public-school students and workforce training programs for under and unemployed adults.
Erik has an extensive background in nonprofit management and organizational leadership. For more than 20 years, Erik has committed himself to serving the best interests of diverse and traditionally underserved communities.
Erik serves as an Education Fellow at the Aspen Institute, Yale-New Haven Hospital Trustee, member of the Connecticut State Board of Education, Board Chair of the Housing Authority of New Haven (HANH), Board of Trustees at New Haven Bank, Quinnipiac University Board of Trustees.
Erik holds a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Southern Connecticut State University and a Master of Arts in Theology and Ethics from the Hartford Seminary.
He is also a recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, Albertus Magnus College, New Haven, CT.
Jeroy Smithhe/him Panelist
Jeroy Smith, is a board certified, Licensed Professional Counselor and life consultant. Jeroy specializes in supporting adults and adolescents with mental, behavioral and emotional disorders. With over 25 years’ experience in working with youth overcoming adverse childhood experiences and intergenerational trauma, domestic violence and substance abuse, Jeroy has spoken both domestically and internationally. Passionate about mental health disparity of access in minority communities, Jeroy’s focus is providing high level clinical care to the most vulnerable populations. As a former collegiate basketball player, current entrepreneur, DJ and business professional, today, as the owner and founder of Strategy Counseling and Coaching, Jeroy utilizes his clinical expertise to support his clients in uncovering, recovering and/or discovering the components of their journey that are vital to their growth.
Landon Osbornhe/him Panelist
Landon is a Connecticut based Licensed Master Social Worker with 13 years of non-profit work experience. Currently he serves as the Program Manager for CLICC Inc, a Connecticut state-wide nonprofit, that provides services for families impacted by the criminal justice system. Outside of CLICC, Landon serves as a Clinical Therapist for the APT Foundation and Reliant Behavioral Health & Community Services, an Adjunct Faculty for the University of Connecticut’s Master of Social Work Program and Field Advisor for Southern Connecticut State University’s School of Social Work. He is a current Board Member for the Friends Center for Children, on the Bereavement Care Network Advisory Committee and Community Action Agency of New Haven’s Advisory and Research Engagement Committee. Landon received his Master of Social Work Degree from the University of Connecticut in 2015, with focus on community organizing and a Bachelor of Science Degree from Southern Connecticut State University in 2012. He was born and raised in New Haven, CT. Landon is invested in creating equity through identifying barriers and implementing solutions for oppressed communities on a micro and macro level.