#Enough: Plays to End Gun Violence
Cardinal Stage, the Bloomington Playwrights Project, and the Bloomington Academy of Film & Theatre are excited to announce their partnership with #Enough: Plays to End Gun Violence, a playwriting contest for middle and high school students. Nationally recognized playwrights Lauren Gunderson (playwright of Cardinal Stage’s recently cancelled production of Ada and the Engine), Academy Award winner Tarell Alvin McCraney, Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Schenkkan, Tony Award winner David Henry Hwang, and Karen Zacarías will select the winning plays.
Students in grades 6-12 are encouraged to submit ten-minute plays confronting the issue of gun violence.Submission are being accepted through June 20, 2020. The winning plays will be made available for free to communities across the country that are participating in an evening of simultaneously staged readings on December 14, 2020, which is the eighth anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings.
As of March, over 30 reading locations in 19 states have been confirmed at middle and high schools, as well as at partnering theatre companies, including renowned regional theatres, Alliance Theatre, Atlantic Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and Goodman Theatre. Locally, Cardinal Stage is teaming up with the Bloomington Playwrights Project and the Bloomington Academy of Film and Theatre to host a reading. The goal is to have 418 readings on December 14, matching the number of mass shootings that the United States endured in 2019, an all-time high for the country according to the Gun Violence Archive.
Cardinal Stage is encouraging Bloomington educators and parents to use this competition as a way to creatively engage students during this period of social distancing. “As teachers look for stay-at-home projects for their students, I encourage them to consider the #Enough student playwriting competition,” says Cardinal Stage Artistic Director Kate Galvin. “This is not an issue that is going to magically disappear after the Covid-19 pandemic is over, and in fact, the pandemic might exacerbate the problem. I know that there are young people in Bloomington who are passionate about ending gun violence, and this is a wonderful opportunity for them to make their voices heard.”
“Cardinal Stage is proud to partner with Bloomington Playwrights Project and the Bloomington Academy of Film & Theater on #Enough. We are reaching out to area educators to offer our assistance and support to teachers or students who wish to participate,” Kate Galvin explains.
#ENOUGH: Plays to End Gun Violence is a campaign of grassroots theatre activism that seeks to catalyze critical conversations about gun violence across the country by providing young people with a platform through which to express themselves, by writing plays that will foster open dialogue in their communities and inspire creative action.
“Throughout history, theatre has served as a public forum where society faces itself,” said panelist judge David Henry Hwang, whose credits include M. Butterfly and Yellow Face. “I eagerly support #ENOUGH: Plays to End Gun Violence because I’m excited to hear the voices of young people, a generation whose lives and well-being have been most impacted by this country’s recent waves of gun violence and mass shootings.”
“What better way to use your voice against gun violence than to use it and also share it,” agreed Lauren Gunderson, the most produced playwright of the 2019-2020 theatre season, according to TCG. “#ENOUGH doesn’t just encourage young writers to put their unique experiences of gun violence into words, but it offers those words to others as a way to inspire, comfort, and compel. That’s theatre at its best. I’m incredible proud to support this project.”
Students can submit their plays at https://www.enoughplays.com/submit. Educators, theatres, and other organizations looking to partner with #ENOUGH, should visit www.enoughplays.com or reach out to Cardinal Stage Artistic Director Kate Galvin for more information.