Rock River Players present Justice? Just Us

WILLIAMSVILLE – Rock River Players present Justice? Just Us, an original music theatre piece conceived, written and composed by Dan Dewalt. An exploration of how restorative justice can transform conflict and help heal those who have been harmed by conflict, the play combines scripted action, improvisation, music and songs to present the vast array of emotions and intricacies of feeling that most prefer to leave unacknowledged in daily life.

The production delves into racism and xenophobia in America today, as experienced through events involving one family; what might have been a lovely dinner to meet a fiancé turns into an ugly confrontation that has the potential to poison everyone’s relationships and destroy their ability to function and communicate with each other. As Dewalt explains, “While the family patriarch is staunchly conservative, fully in support of the current administration and its draconian efforts to impose its idea of order, the restorative process reveals that things are not so simple. Good people with honorable intentions can find themselves on opposite sides of an issue without any way to bridge the gap between them. (Sound familiar America?)”

Expanding on typical dramatic structure and the ingredients of music-theatre, Justice? Just Us also gives the audience a peek at the restorative process at work. Restorative Community Justice of Southern Vermont has been responsible for the training of actors to ensure that the audience will get an accurate picture of what restorative practice actually involves.

Dewalt is music director and accompanist; Addie Mahdavi, recently matriculated from Middlebury College, is director. Annie Landenberger is co-producer. The show features Mike Kelly, Miriam Albee, Ayars Hemphill and Tino Benson as family members; Louis Vitale as a fiancé standing on shaky ground and Rose Watson, Eileen Fahey and Laurie Rabut as restorative practitioners. Stewart McDermet is rhyming interlocutor.

Performances are at the Williamsville Hall on Dover Rd in Williamsville, VT Friday and Saturday, September 21 and 22 at 7:30 and Sunday, September 23 at 3. Tickets are $10; $7 for seniors and students: No one will be turned away for inability to pay. Tickets will be available at the door; to order in advance write or call 802.348.7156.

UP NEXT: The Rock River Players present Twelve Angry Jurors with Bahman Mahdavi, John Moran, Dawn Slade, Susan O’Hara, Dody Riggs, Miles Keefe, Addie Mahdavi, Kayla Williams, Stewart McDermet, Rose Watson, Johanna Gardner, Rebecca Musgrove; directed by Annie Landenberger and assisted by Tanyan Avendano. October 11-14 at the Williamsville Hall. Info: