On Friday, March 9th New Dorp’s second and final Black Box Production of the year took place. The show, entitled ” Bang Bang You’re Dead”, was about a teenager named Josh ( played by Joseph Caruselle) who goes into his high school with a gun and murders five teenagers. The play shows his perspective and why he wanted to shoot the five teenagers.
The show was carefully chosen and directed by AFADA Theater teacher, Mr. Stoebling.
“I chose this particular work because I felt it was a welll structured play that would be accessible to a young cast given the majority of the characters were high school students,” said Stoebling. “As we began rehearsals, the content of the play seemed perhaps a bit ‘foreign’ to some of the student actors. ”
Josh reveals his motives for the murders after he is haunted by the spirits of the five teens he shot; they pressure him over and over to say why he killed them and through a series of very well played flashbacks, Josh becomes violent after he gets his first gun. Josh eventually goes hunting with his grandfather and shoots a buck, while he did not want to shoot it in the first place, he wanted to become a man and stop kids from laughing at him in school so he shot it and got a picture taken by his grandfather.
Back in his hometown, Josh brags about his kill with picture in hand to his current girlfriend Katie ( played by Danielle Gibson) who is not impressed at all because he ditched her on a date to go hunting. Katie ends up dumping Josh for a new person, Josh’s friend Michael ( played by Blerim Cukovic). This sets off a rage within Josh and eventually makes him write a threat on a black board in his school. News eventually gets around and Josh is high suspected of the act, while he denies it, the school knows the truth of it all and Josh’s parents are informed about the incident.
Furious with Josh, his parents take away his gun leave Josh beyond angry at his parents, after hearing voices in his head telling him to steal the gun, he eventually takes the gun back. When his parents catch Josh in the act of stealing his gun back, Josh shoots and kills both his parents. Immediately filled with remorse, Josh determines that there’s no going back now and goes to his high school to make himself known.
Inside the school, Katie, Michael and three other friends of theirs Matt, Jessie, and Emily ( played by Auel Kanaybekov, Allix Regina, and Jessica Maldonado respectively) are all sitting down talking. One by one Josh shoots and kills them all in order to make the laughing and ridicule stop. Immediately after telling the spirits why he killed them, the spirits reveal that they are going to haunt him for the murders forever and the play ends on a scene of Josh kneeling down full of remorse for his previous actions.
Overall, this Black Box Production was a very deep and suspensful play that would leave you to seriously think about the minds of students who commit these massive tragedies. The play was so deep and mind opening, that even Deirdre DeAngelis, The principal of New Dorp High School, admitted that she was moved to tears during the show on the next day’s announcements. The moral of the show would have to be that ridicule and constant bullying, both physical and verbal, can lead students to do horrible things. “If we can start with respect and acceptance for all we can hopefully go a long way towards change in our world and maybe, one day, make this play seem ‘foreign’ to everyone.” Concluded Mr. Stoebling.Tweet