The pen is mightier: students take on gun violence

Young Playwrights Project student Lola Wetzel, photo Marguerite Louise Scott

Dec. 14 marks a grim anniversary. On this date, in 2012, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which claimed the lives of 20 students and six adults, took place. Eight years later, gun violence continues to be a hot button issue among our country’s youth and our national discourse.

In remembrance of the shootings at Sandy Hook, The Santa Fe Playhouse, in conjunction with its Young Playwrights Project and Almost Adults Productions, present #ENOUGH: Plays to End Gun Violence, a digital presentation of plays written by teens from across the nation.

The seven, 10-minute plays feature local and national students, educators, and artists, including Young Playwrights Project participants Ariana and Jonathan Roybal, and Teagan and Lola Wetzel.

The event will be livestreamed starting at 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 14, on the Santa Fe Playhouse’s YouTube channel (santafeplayhouse.org/events/enough).

A Zoom discussion takes place immediately following the performances; audience participation is encouraged. The Zoom link will be provided in the YouTube video’s description box.

#ENOUGH launched in 2019 as a youth movement after the mass shootings that took place that year in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio. It joined March for Our Lives, Students Demand Action, and other activist groups intent on pressuring policymakers to take action on gun violence.

The plays were chosen by nationally recognized dramatists, including Lauren Gunderson, Tarell Alvin McCraney, and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan. The plays were selected from 184 submissions sent in by teens in 23 states. The plays include Adelaide Fisher’s Ms. Martin’s Malaise, Azya Lyons’ Togetha, Olivia Ridley’s Ghost Gun, and Elizabeth Shannon’s Loaded Language.

Each teen playwright will receive a digital premiere on Broadway on Demand, have their play published and licensed through Playscripts this spring, and be given guild membership and craft training through the Dramatists Guild’s Young Dramatist Initiative.

The event is free and donations are accepted. Proceeds support the nonprofit New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence (newmexicanstopreventgunviolence.org), whose goal is to prevent of gun violence in New Mexico. Follow the link from the Santa Fe Playhouse’s events page to donate directly to New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence.

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