Roger Guenveur Smith just wants his audience to listen.
In his one-man show, “Rodney King,” which he is set to perform at PlayMakers Repertory Company for the first time tonight, Smith plays the historical figure Rodney King, an African-American man who sparked riots in Los Angeles after videos surfaced of him being subjected police brutality.
King’s lawyers did not let him testify during trial, and three police officers charged with the use of excessive force were acquitted in April of 1992.
“It’s a story that’s worth telling,” Smith said. “This is a man who was brain damaged, who was struck numerous times. He had been silenced for the entire trial, and then the city exploded in his name.”
Joseph Haj, producing artistic director of PlayMakers, said recent events in Ferguson, MO and other accounts of police brutality make “Rodney King” very timely.