It is a public story, and a private story.
Everyone has a gun story. Some of them are funny, some are tragic, some are sweet, some are scary. Guns are an inescapable reality of living in America. As of a 2015 Washington Post report, there are almost 40 million more guns in the United States than people. So regardless of ones views on guns they have become an inherent part of our national discourse.
The Gun Show takes aim at this, America's most dangerous past-time, by diving into the middle of the national conversation about firearms and asking "Can we have a conversation about this?". These are just a few gun stories, in a country full of gun stories. But we hope these stories can trigger a new kind of dialogue, and help us to build a deeper understanding of our communities and the people in them.
Every performance of the Gun Show is followed by a brief "Gun Talk".
Gun Talks are facilitated discussions during which audience members are encouraged to share their own experiences with firearms, and engage with the questions poses by the performance. Our facilitators are trained in leading community conversations, and have considerable statistical and political knowledge of the gun control debate in America. It is our hope that by providing a forum for audience members to share their own experiences, and to hear the experiences of others, we can foster continued dialogue and understanding about the complexities and emotional impact surrounding one of the most contentious and divisive issues in American society.
Gun talks generally last about 20 minutes, and begin immediately following the conclusion of the performance. We strongly encourage all audience members to stay for the duration of the talk.
“This is not a far right or a far left play. This is a grappling with guns in American society, and trying to figure out if there’s some way to come to terms with their presence, or some way in which we can make them a little bit more safe for us. It’s not an all-or-nothing proposition.” -E.M. Lewis