- Letters to Editor
By MEGAN LOY
The Alpha Psi Omega drama fraternity performed Bang! Bang! You’re Dead on Friday and Saturday in the Pearl Buchanan Theater under the direction of Brittany Underwood.
The theater walls were lined with yellow caution tape and newspaper articles highlighted in red, handwritten signs, “What did I do? Is this my life?” Black and white photos were posted capturing harrowing moments of panic and turmoil.
Director Brittany Underwood set the mood at the beginning of the show by asking the audience to take a step back and focus on the true message behind the school shooting. A young boy was emotionally beaten to the point that he could see no other way to regain some of his pride.
“What would happen if something bad was to happen and you were there?” Underwood asked the audience. “It’s very real, it contains things that happen in everyday life that many of us choose to overlook.”
The play provided an inside look into the subconscious of a high-school shooter who had been bullied throughout his middle and high school years; sort of an inside look into the child behind the rifle.
Josh, played by Chris Conley, is seen as an outcast in his school. The girl that he loves is dating a jock and the voices in his head refuse to be quiet. The internal monologue between Josh and his shadow, played by Jonathan Michael, help to set the ominous tone that is prevalent throughout Josh’s internal struggle to silence the menacing voices.
The players were dressed casually in black shirts and dark jeans. Josh was dressed in a simple white T-shirt and camouflage pants. The difference between costumes further enhanced the social separation between Josh and the rest of his peers. Josh was unable to fully integrate into a social clique. His shadow was dressed in all black in order to represent the darkness in Josh’s mind.
Bang! Bang! You’re Dead featured a haunting style of chant and prose. There were also subtle jokes placed throughout the dialogue in order to break the tension. The five murdered students chanted in rhythm and separately to create a powerful message.
“You make your face a mask.
A mask that hides your face.
A face that hides your pain.
A pain that’s in your heart.
A heart that nobody knows.”
Emily White, 17, a freshman from Winchester, attended the show and said she was strongly moved by the play’s message.
“I found myself being able to relate to Josh in a terrifying way,” White said. “I understood why he wanted to inflict the pain that he felt onto others. A person can only handle so much abuse before they finally decided to stand up for themselves.”
There are kids that hurt so bad inside that the only way to feel slightly better about themselves is to hurt someone else. Bullying in schools is a very real issue that hundreds of kids face every day. While Josh’s story was fictional, the message is applicable to anyone who has ever been a victim of bullying.