Drama production to raise awareness about gun violence

By Nolan DeGarlais, News Editor

The MTHS drama department will perform a stage reading of the play “Bang Bang You’re Dead” tomorrow in the theater beginning at 12:15 p.m., immediately after the all-school lunch following the first two class periods. The play will be performed as part of the Washington State Thespians Theatre for Social Action Event, and is meant to encourage student awareness of the issues surrounding gun violence.

The play written by William Mastrosimone, who took inspiration from the May 21, 1998 shooting at Thurston High School in Springfield, Oregon, as well as the experiences his son had with threats of violence at his school. The play tells the story of a bullied student named Josh, who threatens his school and then carries out the threat, killing his parents and five students in the cafeteria. In a jail cell after the shooting, the ghosts of his victims torment Josh.

Drama director Jean Brzovic has made it clear that the play is not meant to answer questions or make political statements but instead, intends to provoke a conversation about gun violence and its causes. The play is intended to raise awareness of gun violence, bullying, societal expectations, familial conflict and anger management.

Due to the mature themes presented by the play, students who wish to attend are required to complete a parent permission form prior to viewing the performance. Mature themes presented by the play include death, murder, shootings, suicide and violence.

Before attending the performance in the theater, students must check in with their third period teachers after the all-school lunch to clear themselves of their absence. Students will not be admitted to the performance if they do not have the permission slip filled out and signed at the door.

The parental permission form can be found here.