High school play explores topic of school shootings
WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WLNE) -- Theater students at Beacon Charter High School of the Arts received a warm round of applause Thursday night, after their world premiere of a play called "Declaration."
The play explores the before, during, and aftermath of a group of students who experience a mass shooting on their campus.
"The reason I appreciate it so much is because it’s not the way adults think,” explained Beacon Charter theater director, Jason Robert LeClair. “It’s written as the students would speak."
'Declaration' was written by California playwright, Jonathan Dorf, who flew out from the west coast to be in attendance for Thursday night's premiere.
"I had written a school shooting play or two back in the day, but I think as you get older, your perspective changes,” explained Dorf.
“When Marjory Stoneman Douglas happened, that was the catalyst where I said, ‘I want to write another one.’"
The play questions what our nation’s founding fathers had in mind, when they penned the Declaration of Independence's famous phrase about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
"I wanted to look at the perspective of everyone else, because I think that often times the victims get ignored,” explained Dorf.
“Mostly it isn't even the victims of direct violence, but its everyone else who has been effected forever.”
The play, which will be performed at 11 other schools across the country, debuted in front of a sizable crowd, including local law enforcement.
"Anytime a student body can bring awareness to the real problem of an active shooter or an active threat, it's incredible,” said Lt. Mark Burrell of the Woonsocket Police Department.
The play will be performed again Friday night at 7:00.
Tickets are $20 and all proceeds go to the March for Our Lives Organization.
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