A founding sponsor of this incredible series, American Blues Theater proudly presents this year’s nationwide reading of 8 short plays about gun violence written by teen writers. Tickets are FREE and reservation required. Our reading will take place via Zoom using professional and student actors.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20 @ 7:00 PM CENTRAL on Zoom

Join us for a powerful, live reading on Zoom. Following the 90 minute reading, stay in our virtual space for a group discussion and share actions you can take.

Reserve your tickets HERE. Suggested donation is $10 or pay-what-you-can. All proceeds of this reading cover the artists’ wages for rehearsals and performance of this event. Your Zoom link will be sent the day before the reading and again 1 hour before the reading starts. For any questions or to get on the waitlist, contact us at BoxOffice@AmericanBluesTheater.com.

About #ENOUGH: Plays to End Gun Violence

Over 1,300 U.S. children were killed by gunfire in 2020. On April 20th, 2022, the 23rd anniversary of the Columbine High School tragedy, teens are looking for answers on how to avoid becoming another statistic and saying, “Enough is enough.”

#ENOUGH selected eight short new theatrical works by young writers from across the country to be presented in a ground-breaking series of simultaneously staged readings in multiple cities on the same evening. From New York to Portland, Chicago to Orlando, Atlanta to Milwaukee, the goal of this cross-country effort by more that fifty communities is to spark critical conversations about gun violence and inspire meaningful action.

Launched in 2019, #ENOUGH hopes to harness the current generation’s spirit of activism by promoting playwriting as a tool for self-expression and social change and supplying a platform for America’s future playwrights to develop their voices today.

About the Plays & Creative Team

SOUTHSIDE SUMMER

by McKennzie Boyd

A young mother, her son and her daughter share their experience of living on the southside of Chicago, where guns don’t discriminate based on how young or old you are but it’s the color of your skin that can change which way the gun faces.

McKennzie Boyd (she/her) was a generally shy kid from Chicago before she discovered writing poetry as a way for her to speak up about what she was experiencing. From there McKennzie has realized how vital the arts are to expressing serious topics and reaching many groups of people. Since the 6th grade, McKennzie has been a part of the Viola Project, a program that teaches non-men an alternate way to feminize Shakespearean text in order to bend or break ancient gender roles. She has also acted at various theatres in the Chicagoland area including with the City Lit Acting Company where she did THE VOICE OF GOOD HOPE, a play about Barbra Jordan, the first Black woman elected to the House of Representatives who paved ways for Black people to represent themselves and their communities, while challenging segregation and the political climate. McKennzie has managed different plays at her school and organized the assemblies and classes related to Black history month. She’s begun to adapt some of her poems into plays. Currently McKennzie is a part of Steppenwolf’s Young Adult Council and fights to challenge the silence that confines Black and LGBTQ+ voices.

Director: Manny Buckley; Cast: Marlee Feacher and Jazzma Pryor


ALLEGIANCE

by Arianna Brumfield

Growing up in a community where opportunities are scarce, Nehemiah feels burdened with the responsibility of rebuilding his fractured family. When tragedy rips a hole in his world, he must decide whether to fulfill that responsibility or seek revenge, and which life he was destined to live.

Arianna Brumfield (she/her) hails from Jackson, MS where she attends JPS-Tougaloo Early College High School. She enjoys creating art and expressing herself through different mediums, which has led her to her love of writing and using her experiences as a way to tell a story and create a message. She has two proud parents, Roderick and Adrianne, an older brother Marcus, and a twin sister Arielle. She previously received a superior award at the Mississippi Junior Thespian Individual Events Showcase, where her love for theatre grew beyond measure. She would like to thank her friends, family, and loved ones for their comfort and support, and Jesus Christ for his unconditional love and guidance.

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Director: Nevada Montgomery; Cast: David Goodloe, James McClam, Noah Smith, Jazzma Pryor, Andy Feingold-Fisher, and Ibrahim Mugisha


REHEARSAL

by Willa Colleary

Four students at an elite private school and their cult-of-personality history teacher must recount how and why they began the weekly ritual of obsessively performing an archetypal school shooting.

Willa Colleary (she/her) is a Los-Angeles based writer. She has attended and supported public schools throughout her education, and is set to graduate from University High School Charter, where she acts as Assistant Creative Director of the Theater Department. Colleary was honored to enroll in the California State Summer School of the Arts (CSSSA) in summer 2021 to refine her skills in various disciplines of writing. She was awarded the California Arts Scholar award for her work with the program. Colleary has visited and been inspired by the performances at Topanga Canyon’s Theatricum Botanicum since she was little, and she is more than ecstatic to be representing their community with REHEARSAL, which she wrote under their tutelage.

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Director: Nevada Montgomery; Cast: Edward Berber, Ashley Ocampo, Carolyn Minor, Ibrahim Mugisha, Kevin Duvall, and Andy Feingold-Fisher


IT’S OKAY

by Anya Jiménez

In an unknown dreamscape, seemingly without time, a grieving mother grapples with her reality following the mass shooting at her daughter’s elementary school.

Anya Jiménez (she/her) is a playwright, actor, singer, director, and poet from Brooklyn, NY. She is currently a Senior Drama major at the Professional Performing Arts School in Manhattan. She is a 2022 YoungArts Finalist in the Writing category and a Merit winner for the Theater category. Her writing has been performed and produced by the Blank Theater, the Eugene O’Neill Theater, and the Lucille Lortel Theater, and awarded by the Princeton Lewis Center for the Arts, and the Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards. Anya is a member of Manhattan Class Company Theater’s Youth Company Playwriting Lab. She is the playwright, director, producer, and co-video editor of Group Project, a virtual three-act play about the lives of high school students during the height of the pandemic. Anya is the Editor-In-Chief of the artist-activist collective, the Young Lordes Collective, which fosters a network of underrepresented artists and provides community aid. She is very thankful for the love and support she’s found at PPAS, MCC, the Young Lordes Collective, and more. Anya is beyond grateful for this opportunity. She is incredibly inspired by #ENOUGH for putting a national spotlight on such an important issue, and for proving the power that art holds as a tool for social change.

Director: Carolyn Minor; Cast: Nevada Montgomery, Ashley Ocampo, Manny Buckley, Carolyn Minor, and Kevin Duvall.


SALTED LEMONADE

by Taylor Lafayette

Worrying over her 18 year old son’s well being can sometimes feel like a full time job for Lisa, a widowed mother who lost her husband to gun violence. But when Jamal doesn’t text her, it may be a day she’s feared ever since her husband died has finally arrived.

Taylor Lafayette (she/her) is a playwright and poet from the Mississippi Delta, residing in Benoit, MS. She attends Mississippi School of the Arts as a senior literary discipline under the teachings of Mrs. Clinnesha Sibley. Taylor’s works are often inspired by creating feeling and telling stories of the black experience and romance. Through her work Taylor works to be an example of how one can become more than where they came from and she strives to be an example of Black excellence.

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Director: Manny Buckley; Cast: Noah Smith, Nevada Montgomery, Jazzma Pryor, and James McClam


IN MY SIGHTS

by Tain Leonard-Peck

Told from the gun’s perspective, IN MY SIGHTS follows the “life” of a gun, from its creation and adoption by a loving couple, to its theft and use in a shooting, exploring how even well-intentioned gun owners can find their weapons embroiled in violent crime.

Tain Leonard-Peck (he/him) writes plays, poetry, short stories, and creative nonfiction, and is completing his first novel. He is from West Tisbury, MA. He is an actor, monologist, and model. He paints and composes music, and is a competitive sailor, skier, and fencer. He is involved in community organizing, promoting access to literature, furthering sustainable energy use, and providing animal therapy. He is a judge for several literary journals and writing competitions, and is listed in Poets & Writers Directory. He won the first place Poetry Fellowship to the MVICW, and won Honorable Mention for the Creators of Literary Justice Award, by IHRAF. Several of his plays have been published/produced, and his play, GUEST OF HONOR, was a finalist for the LGBTQ+ Fresh Fruit Festival. His work has been published in literary journals, including the 2020 Anthology of Youth Writing on Human Rights & Social Justice, Another Chicago Journal, and others. He appeared in “Night Of Too Many Cages,” a livestream for Artists Striving to End Poverty (ASTEP). He has cave-dwelled, shark-dived, and not been defenestrated by a temperamental donkey named William Shakespeare. He thinks the world is a place of wonders. He is frequently bitten by geese.

Director: Manny Buckley; Cast: Kevin Duvall, Brian McKnight, Carolyn Minor, Nevada Montgomery, Ashley Ocampo, and Naysa Sutherlin


UNDO, REDO

by Cameron Thiesing

No. Stop. Like this. Okay, do it again. Giving directions to her past self and her friend Rachel as if the director of a play, Caroline desperately tries to change the past as she is forced to come to terms with what really happened at school.

Cameron Thiesing (she/her) is a playwright from Louisville, Kentucky. She is a senior at duPont Manual High School in the Math, Science, and Technology Program. She plans to study Computer Science at Johns Hopkins University where she will be a member of the varsity field hockey team. She plans to continue with her hobby of playwriting in college. She has had her plays TARG(ET) and THE SPACESHIP produced by the Youth Performing Arts School student run festival: New Works.

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Director: Carolyn Minor; Cast: MiKayla Boyd, Naysa Suterlin, Marlee Feacher, and Andy Feingold-Fisher


WRITE THEIR WRONGS

by Wyn Alyse Thomas

After surviving a shooting in their high school, four writers get together to try to write a piece that will inspire change in the nation’s gun legislation.

Wyn Alyse Thomas (she/her), a writer, actor, director, and producer from Buffalo Grove, IL, is ecstatic that her play WRITE THEIR WRONGS is a part of #ENOUGH! Her play SCARED (Winner of the IHRAF Young Playwrights Festival, 2nd Place Nuevas Voces Festival) was honored as a finalist for #ENOUGH last year, and she is serving on the project’s teen advisory council this year. Her other playwriting credits include HOW TO WRITE A MUSICAL: THE MUSICAL, (performed at AESHS, Semifinalist: the Blank’s 28th Annual Young Playwrights Festival in Los Angeles), BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER, (1st Place Drama: UWW Creative Writing Festival), NAOMI AND RUTH: A NEW MUSICAL, (Semifinalist, The Growing Stage’s YPF), and MORE THAN 21 (performed at AESHS, Finalist: the Light Youth Festival). This fall, she produced AESHS’s 24 Hour Theatre Project benefiting world and local hunger, and played Squidward in THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL. This spring, she will be playing Kristine in A CHORUS LINE. Wyn is currently a senior at Adlai E. Stevenson High School where she is President of Scripts Studio Playwriting Club, Captain of the Failed Presidential Candidates Improv Troupe, and an International Honors Thespian. She plans to study theatre and dramatic writing in college.

Director: Carolyn Minor; Cast: Marlee Feacher, Naysa Sutherlin, Edward Berber, and MiKayla Boyd


EVERY FIFTEEN MINUTES

by Maggie Munday Odom

**Commissioned by #ENOUGH, Maggie Munday is a 2020 #ENOUGH finalist.

Maggie Munday Odom (she/her) is a playwright, poet, and performer from High Point, North Carolina. Her work has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts, The New York Times, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, The Blank Theatre, the Writopia Lab Worldwide Plays Festival, and the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. Her plays have been produced by theaters in New York City and Los Angeles, as well as in the O’ahu Fringe Festival and in international virtual theatrical events. In 2021, she served as the Youth Fellow for the International Human Rights Art Festival where she developed and orchestrated the Our Rising Voices youth playwriting festival. Maggie Munday looks forward to studying Theatre as a member of the Class of 2026 at Northwestern University. She is honored to have the opportunity to support the work of this year’s #ENOUGH winners and is grateful to #ENOUGH for their powerful and vital gun control advocacy.

Resources for Gun-Related Trauma

For those coping with traumatic grief, PTSD, or another form of gun violence-related trauma, below are some resources that can help provide you with the tools and information that you may need.


AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION RESOURCES FOR COPING WITH MASS SHOOTINGS
– Resources for those who are suffering distress related to mass shootings and gun violence, including information on helping your children manage distress.

DISASTER DISTRESS HELPLINE – a 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT FOR GUN VIOLENCE SURVIVORS – a collection of resources and information about coping with traumatic grief, PTSD, children’s responses to trauma, and more from Everytown For Gun Safety

MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES FOR SURVIVORS OF GUN VIOLENCE – a comprehensive collection of resources compiled by Team ENOUGH.

Additional support : ABC7’s Stop the Violence – ABC7 Chicago created an in-depth collection of local resources that address violence & gun violence. March for our Lives – founded by the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, this organization harnesses the power of young people across the country to fight for sensible gun violence prevention policies that save lives. Students Demand Action – a national movement of young activists committed to ending gun violence in their communities. 

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