Columbine. Virginia Tech. Sandy Hook. The horrors of school shootings are all too real but on the stage, haunting voices inside one young man’s head ask him why: Why did you shoot your parents and high school classmates? The production is “Bang Bang You’re Dead” and in it, playwright William Mastrosimone dramatizes the aftermath of a school shooting and encourages communities to explore why such violence occurs.
“Bang Bang You’re Dead” is a one-act Fine Arts Theatre production to be performed at 7:30 p.m. Thurs.-Sat., Oct. 13-15, 2016, in the Fine Arts Hall at the Santa Fe College Northwest Campus, 3000 NW 83 Street, Gainesville. A panel discussion about school violence follows the performance on Thurs., Oct. 13, and the audience is invited to attend a reception with the cast and crew after the play on Fri., Oct. 14.
Tickets are $15 main floor and $12 balcony for adults; $9 for seniors, children and University of Florida students; and free for Santa Fe College faculty, staff and students with college identification cards. For ticket information, call the Box Office at 352-395-4181 or visit the Fine Arts ticket website at:
“Mastrosimone is a wonderful playwright and while there is a very socially relevant, cutting-edge message here, it’s presented in an expressionistic, entertaining way with some dark humor—so the audience isn’t constantly in tragic mode,” explained Terry Klenk, SF Professor of Theatre and director of the production. “Since the play challenges communities to find answers to the questions it raises, the panel discussion on Thursday night features a dialogue with representatives from the SF Student Life and Police departments as well as with the cast and audience members.”
“’Bang Bang You’re Dead’ deals with a subject that is topical, raw, and real,” Klenk continued. “This is an ensemble piece with 12 students, including one from our high school dual enrollment program; most of them are not that far removed from high school. The play lets them use their acting skills to evoke a situation that is, unfortunately, familiar to them because of what happened at places like Columbine, Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook.”
Dylan Tyson, a former SF College student who is now at the University of Florida and is certified in theatre fight coordination, is assisting Klenk with directing. Tyson will use that work as his senior project at UF.
Klenk said that the cast is positive about the play in part because many artistically inclined students have experienced bullying, which can be one of the causes of school violence. “That’s one way that they make their way into the play’s material,” he continued. “And there are some sly references to cyber communication that help them too.”
“Bang Bang You’re Dead” is sponsored in part by SF College and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture and Visit Gainesville, a Tourist Development Tax Grant from the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners in conjunction with the Alachua County Tourist Development Council.
For more information about the play, call Terry Klenk at 352-395-5092.