Gunplay—a performance that explores the impact of guns on American Life

Carole McFall
April 02, 2013

BOSTON, MA—On Monday, April 22, Emerson College will stage a reading of Gunplay, a play by Frank Higgins that explores the complexity of America’s relationship to guns. The performance, directed by Senior Distinguished Producer-in-Residence Benny Sato Ambush, includes a multicultural, interracial cast of Emerson students, Emerson Performing Arts Department alumni, and faculty actors as well as professional actors from the Boston region. Following the reading, Ambush will lead a moderated discussion. Emerson’s presentation of Gunplay takes place at 6:30 p.m. in Greene Theater, located on the 6th floor in the Tufte Performance and Production Center, 10 Boylston Place (a pedestrian walkway located off Boylston Street, halfway between Charles Street and Tremont Street). The event is free and open to the public and seating is first come, first served. For more information, visit www.emerson.edu.

Through dramatic vignettes that are historical, humorous, informative, and poignant, Gunplay’s kaleidoscope of views explores the mystique and power of guns in the United States. The play represents many points of view about guns and gun violence without taking sides and does not support any particular perspective; instead, it encourages audiences to form their own conclusions.

The reading is part of Emerson College President Lee Pelton’s commitment to holding conversations about gun violence on campus. In addition to Made in America: Our Gun Violence Culture, a four-part panel series hosted on campus during the spring semester and the creation of the College Presidents’ Gun Violence Resource Center, Pelton encouraged Emerson College faculty to find ways to contribute to the discussion. Faculty member and director Ambush responded to Pelton’s request by offering to present a reading of Gunplay.

“My hope is that the play reading will galvanize potent and useful discussion about the concerns and issues surrounding the overwhelming presence of guns, their use and misuse, in American life,” said Ambush. “This reading and discussion will demonstrate the power of live theater to contribute to an essential conversation of our time.”

The 14-member cast of Gunplay includes local professional actors Diego Arciniegas, Miranda Craigwell, Cliff Odle, Bob Pemberton, and Michael Tow; Associate Professor of Acting Kathleen Donohue and Assistant Performing Arts Professor Christina Marin; Emerson College Performing Arts students Rose Fieschko, BA ’13, Stefan Martin, Alexander Neher, BA ’14, Theresa Nguyen, BFA ’13, Marc Pierre, BFA ’13, and Noelle Vinas, BA ’13; and alumna Cheyenne Postell, BA ’10.

The College’s last two gun violence panel discussions in the Made in America series include “The Second Amendment: What is it? What is it not?” which takes place tonight, Tuesday, April 2. Then, on Thursday, April 25, the panelists will discuss “The Cultural, Social, and Economic Underpinnings of American Violence.”

More information about Emerson’s pledge to America on gun violence: In January 2013, in a message to more than 1,700 college presidents, Emerson President Lee Pelton announced the establishment of the College Presidents’ Gun Violence Resource Center and to date, nearly 300 presidents have joined him to make a pledge to President Obama to lead discussions about America’s culture of gun violence.

About Emerson College

Located in Boston, Massachusetts, opposite the historic Boston Common and in the heart of the city’s Theatre District, Emerson College educates individuals who will solve problems and change the world through engaged leadership in communication and the arts, a mission informed by liberal learning. The College has 3,660 undergraduates and 829 graduate students from across the United States and 50 countries. Supported by state-of-the-art facilities and a renowned faculty, students participate in more than 80 student organizations and performance groups. Emerson is known for its study and internship programs in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., the Netherlands, London, China, and the Czech Republic. The College has an active network of 32,000 alumni who hold leadership positions in communication and the arts. For more information, visit the website.

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