February 22 to March 18, 2018
Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. (at E. 10th Street)
Presented by Theater for the New City
Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 PM, Sundays at 3:00 PM
$15 general admission, $12 Seniors/Students, $10 groups
Box office (212) 254-1109, www.theaterforthenewcity.net
Group sales: Alex Santullo (212) 475-0108
Running time 85 min.
Innumerable American children and teens are exposed to gun violence at home, in school, in their communities and in the media. In "Subway Story (A Shooting)," playwright/director William Electric Black means to elucidate the pressures that drive the epidemic in young people. The piece is the final installment of his five-play GUNPLAYS Series, which has dramatized the epidemic of gun violence using differing approaches and theatrical styles. Theater for the New City, which has presented the entire series, will mount "Subway Story (A Shooting)," its final installment, February 22 to March 18 in its Community Theater.
of literature on gun violence reveal that violent crimes in urban
areas are more likely to involve guns than in suburban or rural areas.
While school shooters tend to be from stable, low crime towns and
suburbs who generally do not know the people they kill, street shooters
tend to live in densely populated areas with high levels of crime
and poverty, and they tend to kill individuals they know.
has been physically abused by her mother and sexually abused by her
father. The girl of her story, like many teens of lower income, dysfunctional
households, seeks a gun to end the pain. Along the way, Chevonn meets
subway-dwellers whose stories she captures in her composition book
and she wrestles with her own destiny while encountering a succession
of hidden sufferers. As their stories unfold, so do stories about assault,
gender bias, homelessness, the plight of Dreamers, hatred toward
Muslims and the effect of gun violence on people of color. Chief among
the young woman's encounters is a transgender boy named Emmett who
has a gun because he was bullied in school and seeks escape through
suicide. He would like Chevonn to kill him and then use the gun against
her mother. Others include a homeless veteran named Army who packs
an assault weapon, suffers from PTSD and is pursued by the authorities.
Dodging the police who are chasing Army, Chevonn retreats to the supposed
"safety" of her mother's house, where she overcomes her
inability to cry, using her tears to finally put out the fire in her
As Americans, we are now struggling to find our bearings after two months of mass shootings--Las Vegas, the Baptist Church in rural Texas and Rancho Tehama Elementary School near Sacramento. This play does a service by bringing our focus back to the larger problem of gun violence among young people in urban settings. Interestingly, while mass shootings grab the headlines, they account for less than one percent of gun deaths each year. Here's a revealing comparison: The death toll from our three recent mass shootings was 90, but in 2016 there were about 6,600 gun-related deaths among youths 24 and younger.
Written and directed by William Electrric Black. Set design is by Lytza Colon and Mark Marcante. Costume and prop design are by Susan Hemley. Lighting design is by Alexander Bartenieff. Sound design is by James Mussen. Sound tech is Alex Santullo. Stage Manager is Megan Horan. Production Manager is Dylan Vaughan Skorish. Percussion advisor is Jacob Shandling.