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Wednesday, January 23, 2013
A Teen Show Concerning School Violence
Last weekend, the local community theater staged a teen production of the 1999 William Mastrosimone play "Bang, Bang You're Dead." Loosely based on the 1998 Thurstone High School, Springfield, Oregon, case in which a student murders his parents and 27 classmates in a shooting spree, the play grapples with the issues surrounding school shootings. It is intended to be preformed by teens, for teens. The play emphasizes how bullying leads to violence. It is a powerful message presented simply, intended to be easy to produce on very simple sets. It is sadly an enduring message not at all dated by events today. If you are looking for a proven play that provides a powerful message straight to a targeted audience, this is the play for you and your school or community theater. It takes some nerve to produce, but it is well worth it. It is my understanding that the play is available free for those who are interested in using it to deliver an anti-bullying, anti-violence message. Those who saw it last Saturday were deeply moved. Tissues were made available in the back of the theater and they were widely used. The teens who saw the show and those who performed in it received the intended message. So did everyone else. In this highly charged environment, where much of the debate has been reduced to silly slogans and absurd name calling (bullying???), here is a clear message to inject into the "conversation."