How do artists make sense of the facts and feelings that surround the death of Trayvon Martin?

After a jury acquitted George Zimmerman last year in the slaying of the unarmed, 17-year-old Martin, the organization New Black Fest commissioned playwrights of varying ethnicities to explore the subject from all sides, tapping writers as buzzy as Dan O’Brien (“War Reporter,” and the award-winning “The Body of an American”), whose work is paired with that of musician Quetzal Flores; Marcus Gardley, Mona Mansour ("The Way West") and Tala Manassah. On Feb. 5, Woolly Mammoth Theatre is joining a handful of theaters nationwide in staging free readings of the six new 10-minute plays they produced.

The date of the staged readings is significant: Feb. 5 was Martin's birthday. Tickets for the D.C. performance have all been reserved, but the box office is maintaining a waiting list in the event of no-shows on the night of the performance. Call 202-393-3939 to be added.

Woolly Mammoth's regular cast members, Howard University students and other D.C. actors will read the roles for the free event, and African Continuum Theatre Company, the night's co-presenter, will help moderate a discussion after the performances. "Readings" typically feature actors performing book-in-hand, with no sets or bells and whistles