Students at Alfred State College will stage the one-act play Bang, Bang, You’re Dead, Thursday and Friday, Feb. 17-18, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 19, at 2 p.m. in the Orvis Auditorium on the Alfred campus.
Tickets are $2 for college students (with ID); $3 for community members. High school students get in free with a high school ID. Material may be inappropriate for children 10 and under.
Bang, Bang, You’re Dead, written by William Mastrosimone, is strongly based on the events surrounding Kip Kinkel's shootings of his parents on May 20, 1998, and 27 of his classmates at Thurston High School in Springfield, OR, on May 21, 1998.
Mastrosimone intended Bang, Bang, You're Dead to be easily accessed and performed by teens “in any modest playing area,” and therefore production requires “no set, no lights, no costumes (except for contemporary dress).” Its purpose is to raise awareness of the beginnings of school violence, which, as Mastrosimone writes in his notes on the play, are not always easily seen. Mastrosimone hopes that the play will help people “see tragedy before it happens.”
Bang, Bang, You're Dead is performed, as the playwright intended, by students for students, because ultimately the end of student-to-student harassment, bullying, and violence lies in the hands of students.
The play brings light to the ever-present issues of harassment, bullying, and general violence in schools. The play shows the main character, Josh, haunted by his peers who died by his hand during a school shooting.
The deceased force him to explore his past and future and give him a new perspective on the true impact of his actions. They show the trail that ended in his violent choice--the way his peers alienated and tormented him, being misunderstood by his parents, and the fond memories of his grandfather who taught him to hunt.
Alfred State Drama Club Adviser Janna Buckwalter hopes this show will “spread the word of the many adverse effects of peer harassment and violence and help end any such behavior in our community.”
The cast and crew will be available after every performance to discuss any questions that come up from the show.
Cast (in order of appearance):
Justin Stark, Fort Ann, liberal arts and sciences: humanities, as Josh, the play's main character. The play takes place in his jail cell, after he has murdered his parents and five of his classmates. He masks an immature, unsure boy with an overconfident, proud façade.
James Meneses, Bellmore, architectural technology, as Michael (deceased victim), a teammate of Josh's on the school football team. He is a strong, sensible presence and does not back down in the face of a challenge.
Sarah Doty, Rochester, veterinary technology, as Katie (deceased victim), one of Josh's victims, but also his romantic interest. She refuses to deal with Josh when he does not follow through on promises, instead moving on to Michael, triggering much of Josh's anger.
Ali Moore, New York City, digital media and animation, as Matt (deceased victim), an older classmate of Josh's, but had never met Josh prior to the shooting. He is a smart, academically driven boy who was “in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Ashley Knights, Dansville, court and realtime reporting, as Jessie (deceased victim), who also did not know Josh. She is a quiet, mature girl with many dreams for her future.
Erica Rokenbrod, Hornell, architectural technology, as Emily (deceased victim), Josh's childhood friend. Because of this close relationship, she feels the most betrayal, but she also has the most compassion for Josh.
Jacob Freedman, Troy, digital media and animation, as the Shadow.
The “voices” act as a chorus, coloring Josh's would-be monologues and are also the rumors in school and the voices in the dark that haunt Josh:
Nick Brumagin, Angola, welding technology, voice 2, the judge, and dad;
Jeremy Mieczkowski, Durhamville, marketing, as voice 1, the public defender, and grandpa;
Amanda Zeiser, Fairport, digital media and animation, as voice 3, the jury forewoman, and mom;
Kelly Beachner, Webster, marketing, as voice 4, the prosecutor, and the school principal.