Gunplay (After The Gun Goes Off) by Jennifer Walton
When Darryl and his friend Niko get caught using a pellet gun in the alley beside an elementary school, it triggers a full active shooter response. Darryl and his mother Miranda feel the full force of justice, political, and education systems as well as the court of public opinion until Stevens, the police officer who was first on scene at the school and already suffering from PTSD, takes justice into his own hands.
Gunplay takes place six months after the shooting at Sandy Hook School, spanning from mid June to November of the same year. The scenes take place in a number of locations within the community, as well as within the nightmares of the main characters. The play straddles the dream world of the characters, their reflections, and the nightmarish reality of the moment.
Keywords: High school, restorative justice, guns, gun control, award winning, dreams, Voaden Prize, PTSD, police, audition monologue, Toxic Masculinity
Received the Voaden Prize for Playwriting, 2021
Genre: Drama, Horror
Run time: 90 minutes
Suitable for students 14+
Content notes: Alludes to suicide (not depicted), guns, swearing, school shooting, school lock-down.
Cast size: 6 actors
Male roles: 4
Female roles: 2
Casting note: 6 actors with double casting for 11 roles, 6 male and 5 female. Double casting can be used at the Director’s discretion, but the piece was written to accommodate a cast of six actors in total.