April 5-15, 2018
I started talking about guns in my classes here at Pitt about two years ago. In a course called Devising and Composition for the Stage, we build plays from scratch - without a script as a starting point. In our classroom sessions, we talked about guns, about their impact on bodies, families, communities. I owe a debt of gratitude to the students in those classes for showing me that a larger, more public conversation about these dynamics was possible and necessary.
This play has likewise been devised - built by all of us from the ground up. We used our relationships with guns as a starting point for creating scenes, choreography, and text. We interviewed one another. We conducted research. We asked questions. How are guns romantizied and vilified in contemporary media and film? Where did the Second Amendment come from? Who is served by it? We explored how we felt, and how those feelings aligned (or didn't) with how we were raised, our political beliefs, our homes.
We spent weeks in rehearsal, searching for common ground regarding this American epidemic. In the end, we agreed on just one thing.
The status quo must change.
Head of Performance, Theatre Arts Department