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Theatre for Social Change

December 20, 2012

After the Sandy Hook tragedy, it made me think about all the massacre’s that had taken place this year and within the past decade or so. Since the Columbine Shooting in 1999, there’s been 31 school massacre’s that had happened. Yet not once in this time had there been any change in the matter’s of gun control laws.

To add insult to injury, the media makes these situations more about the killer than the poor victims. We are going to remember the names Adam Lanza and James Holmes (from the “Dark Knight Rises” shooting over the summer) more than remember the names of ANY of the victims. Even if they take their own lives like Adam did, they will be remembered as the monster who murdered poor innocent first graders, than him going out unknown my the masses, or even as a kid who has a form of autism that his mother thought it would be a good idea to take her mentally disabled son out shooting and to own an extensive gun collection with him in the house.

My point being: the American focus on massacre’s needs to change. The fact we keep HAVING these massacre’s need to change. The fact that within the gun control laws, you can buy a gun at Wal-Mart in certain states just by being 18. And much more needs to change.

So, I realized after a weekend of reflection, that I’d like to create a devised theatre piece, connecting all these massacre’s together along with some of the one’s that aren’t famous, and the fact that people DO exist out there that see it as okay to even poke fun at these things (I’ve witnessed “massacre gags” and found them all to be absolutely appalling). In other words: I’d like to create something that reflects the fact the US current gun control policy, these massacre’s, and the American media’s approach to these massacre’s are wrong.

One of the things that I love most about theatre is how much we can inspire people to promote social change by utilizing the theatre; our art; as a tool to make the world a better place. One of my goals for 2013, is to now have a devised theatrical production that will help promote awareness on how these things need to change.

I’ll keep everyone posted on my process as much as I can, although the first step I need to take is to generate enough interest to get it going.

sarah sig


2 Comments leave one →
  1. The Reflective Artist permalink
    December 20, 2012 8:46 am

    Your post struck me in a strangely personal way. I will tell you why:

    When I was studying for my masters (in devised theatre, btw), the school I attended hosted a research conference about “documenting practices”: essentially, the documentation of the process of theatre-making. Several companies presented different forms of documentation, which ranged from video, pictures, set models, to personal journals from ensemble members. I was perusing one journal when I realized the piece it was discussing had been built around the Virginia Tech shooting. This seemed significant for two reasons: Firstly, I went to school in England, and I was strangely disoriented that a British school would create a piece like this, that seemed so concerned with America somehow, when I had never encountered an American equivalent to such a work. Secondly, I had gone to middle and high school with one of the victims of the shooting. I began poring through the notebook, trying to find something that had to do with him, and then finally found his name in a column titled “Victims,” or something like. It was very bizarre seeing the name of this person who had been real in my life turned into a fact, a piece of research, now owned by theatre makers in a very different way than the ownership of my personal experience with him. Quite disorienting.

    This is a little something about the work, which may help fuel your own process. I look forward to seeing what and how you develop this.

  2. December 20, 2012 3:49 pm

    Thank you so much! That is really helpful. I’m so sorry that you knew one of the victims from Virginia Tech from both middle and high school. I did a study aboard to England once, and I’ve noticed very quickly that they are very concerned with things America does (there was a billboard of President Obama when I went in 2010). I understand how you feel since I have my own connection as well (and even though it’s been years, I’m not ready to go into it). I’ll make sure to keep you posted on what happens.

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