A Debate Ahead of its Time

Josh%2C+played+by+Dylan+Eckstein%2C+relives+his+first+time+hunting.+He+is+haunted+by+the+spirits+of+the+people+he+killed.%0A
Josh, played by Dylan Eckstein, relives his first time hunting. He is haunted by the spirits of the people he killed.

Josh, played by Dylan Eckstein, relives his first time hunting. He is haunted by the spirits of the people he killed.

Xander Fu

Xander Fu

Josh, played by Dylan Eckstein, relives his first time hunting. He is haunted by the spirits of the people he killed.

Will Schorno, Staff Reporter

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The latest addition to CWU theatre ensemble’s GhostLight Lab Series “Bang Bang! You’re Dead” was performed last week in Hertz Hall auditorium and is a drama first performed in 1999 in response to school shootings that took place in the late 90s such as the Springfield, Oregon, massacre of 1998, which left 27 students dead.

The decision to perform “Bang Bang! You’re Dead” was made after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The play director, Graeme Buchanan, had been reading about the play for years before and concluded that now was as good of a time as ever to perform it.

“Bang Bang! You’re Dead” focuses on Josh, a troubled, once popular high school football player that is disgraced to the point of killing his parents and five of his classmates.

Josh’s girlfriend leaves him for his friend and he is constantly heckled by acquaintances and former teammates to the point of extreme resentment.

CWU’s talented theatre students do the play justice with their passionate interpretation of such a relevant drama. Emotions are conveyed in a believable manner, and ironically the dead students feel very much alive.

Characters banter and discuss current gun control policy suggestions relevant to the current political atmosphere such as arming teachers and even protecting students with ballistics.

Past visions and jail cell hauntings are a staple in the play and have little to no props involved which makes the main character, Josh, seem isolated and lonely.

Although Josh is a deranged killer, the performance injected him with human emotion and wonderfully executed the difficult task of making a monster relatable.

“It’s crazy that in that time frame (between the proposal and performance) there’s been about five school shootings with one happening last Friday,” Buchanan said.

Buchanan feels an obligation to contribute to the gun control conversation with this drama.

“The main reason I did this play is because it seems like every time we get to this point in our country where there’s a shooting that happens, three things happen; this isn’t the time to talk about gun control, thoughts and prayers, and congress starts to do something but does nothing,” Buchanan said.

“Bang Bang, You’re Dead” was a hour long performance with few dull moments. The play leaves viewers with a bleak feeling for Josh’s prison sentence, as he is doomed to be haunted forever by his dead peers. The ensemble did what they set out to do with this play, contribute to the conversation. The end of the show was met with a standing ovation and students discussing policy as they were leaving the auditorium.

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A Debate Ahead of its Time