Cowboy,” written and directed by Layon Gray, tells the story of Bass Reeves, a freed slave who protected the Wild West as the first Black United States deputy marshal. Black cowboys are an integral yet forgotten element of the Wild West, which is something playwright and director Layon Gray hopes to change in his latest work, “Cowboy. ”Though “Cowboy” sold out all performances in a day at the 2019 National Black Theatre Festival, the coronavirus pandemic significantly scaled back how Gray and his team are able to present the show, including its format shifting to a streamed, digital performance.
“The whole ending, you know, when the tornado comes, that’s one of my favorite parts, when the tornado just hits the saloon,” Gray said. “We can’t do it like we want to do it with all the effects, you know, because it is a bare-bones production with the projection and screen, but the tornado, that’s one of my favorite parts.” Now that the show is being produced by M Ensemble at the Sandrell Rivers Theater the audience will experience and feel all of those those effects in addition to the great actors..