How do you get away with murder? Try the Panic Defense.

Four human beings from different corners of America were living their lives when they were brutally killed in cold blood. Their gender identities were the catalyst to four senseless, hate-filled murders depriving each of them of their future.

Loosely based on four real murder cases, The Panic Defense, a full-length, one act, docudrama, examines the tragic realities of growing transphobia and homophobia in America. “Gay panic defense” strategies are used to malign the victims and blame them for their own demise, thereby lessening the criminal sentences for their perpetrators. When brought before a court of law, the question remains: Is there justice for all?

TRAVIS: A southern gay man with an acerbic wit. A chef at a Dominican Restaurant. In a relationship with Romeo. Age: 30s-40s MIKE: A kind-hearted, divorced parent. Trying to battle alcohol addiction. A Truck driver. Bisexual. (Caucasian) Age: 30s-40s MAXINE: A Transgender woman who aspires to become a certified cosmetologist.(African American) Age: 20s BENNY: An effeminate, bullied, special needs student. He has just begun to express a new gender identity. (African-American, Mixed Race or Latinx) Age: 15 FEMALE: PROSECUTOR/TEACHERS A,B (Caucasian) Age: 30s-40s MALE 1: PROSECUTOR/JAMES (PERPETRATOR) (African-American) Age: 30s-40s MALE 2: ROMEO/CATCALLER (PERPETRATOR) Handsome and in the closet (Latinx) Age: 30s-40s MALE 3: TOMMY/JEFF/DANIEL (PERPETRATORS) (Caucasian) Age: 20s
Sam Affoumado