To Catch a Fish: A Repetitive Occurrence of Injustice

Timeline Theatre World Premiere
By Brett Neveu
Directed by: Ron OJ Parson
April 25 – July 1, 2018

Terry (Geno Walker) and Dontre (Al’Jaleel McGhee)

Fishing is a great sport for many. And all great fishers know the importance of the bait and the fact that the same bait doesn’t work for every fish.  Just like this sport of enticement, allurement and entrapment can capture the naiveté of humans and place them in a net filled with lies and injustice!
“To Catch A Fish” is a disheartening story written by Playwright Brett Neveu. It is inspired by the true story of an African American male named Chauncey Wright, who lived in Milwaukee, Wis. Chauncey, who had traumatic brain injury when he was a child, “functions in the mildly mentally retarded range.”
The story is focused on the life of Terry Kilbourn (the name Chauncey is given in the play), played by the understudy Eric Gerard who we must say did an excellent job of portraying the real-life mentally challenged Chauncey. Terry got involved unknowingly with a defective law enforcement operation run by ATF (alcohol, tobacco, and firearms) that had a tremendous amount of flaws while attempting to catch career criminals attempting to sell guns.
The ATF agents Ike Jeno (Jay Worthington), Stephen Walker (Dex Farwell) and Anji White (Regina “G” Whitnall) see Terry as the perfect bait and befriend him at Wal-Mart. Unsuspecting Terry, who is 28 years old and cannot distinguish between the good and evil in people, believes they are local gun shop owners.
The ATF agents offer him a job promoting Fearless Distributing, spreading the word and passing out flyers to promote their store, a store that is looking for people willing to sell guns and drugs. Terry is oblivious to the sting “Operation Fearless” and the fact that the store is a makeshift business in the neighborhood of Riverwest.
Terry works diligently by riding his bike all over the city, to get the word out about the new so-called store and the agents pay him with cigarettes, clothes, shoes and a little cash.
As the story progresses, we come to understand Terry’s predicament best through his family. His overprotective grandmother Brenda Cameron (Linda Bright Clay), who only sees him as a helpless little boy. Her character was entirely convincing as the God-fearing Black woman who was hardened by life and held her family together when it fell apart.
Brenda’s constant affection shown to Terry draws jealousy from his cousin Dontre, played by Al’Jaleel McGhee, who does a remarkable job delivering the necessary balance to this dysfunctional family unit. Rochelle Walker (Tiffany Addison), who plays Terry’s girlfriend, is another figure who is quite protective of him, leading us to his susceptibility and convolution in the play.
Although the sting was aimed at taking guns and drugs off the street, “Operation Fearless” backfired in Milwaukee. They did not trap any significant dealers or take down a gang. An agent’s machine gun is stolen, and the storefront is burglarized. The operation has a string of mistakes and failures, making them shut down their sting, and unfortunately bringing criminal charges for guns and drugs on Terry. It makes you wonder who you can trust when the law enforcement is asking you to break the law.
Eric Gerard, the understudy, performed the night that we saw the play for Geno Walker who normally portrays the character of Terry Kilbourn. He was a force to be reckoned with. He visually transformed into playing a role that had a disability. He articulated every little nuance of his character’s incapacities, and he was believable as he presented both the innocence and complexity of Terry. His performance was nothing short of brilliant!
Director Ron OJ Parson once again delivers with fantastic staging in small places with “To Catch a Fish.” It has cast a net of an even bigger fish of injustice at the right time by shedding light on the apparent truth of the blatant mistreatment of African Americans. This is something that is too often seen as a norm in our society especially within the Black community. This play delivers a fresh perspective, reminding us that liberty and justice are NOT for all.
Let’s Play “Highly Recommends” that you see this riveting, explosive play of the actual life events of Chauncey Wright, whose life is symbolic to that of a captured fish.
Brenda and Rick McCain

The cast includes:
Linda Bright Clay (Brenda Cameron)
Anji White (Regina “G” Whitnall)
Jay Worthington (Ike Jeno)
Tiffany Addison (Rochelle Walker)
Al’ Jaleel McGhee (Dontre Cameron)
Eric Gerard (US/ Terry Kilbourn)
Stephen Walker (Dex Farwell) Through June 17
Josh Odor (Dex Farwell) Starting June 19

About Post Author


From the Web