This week, my co-year Anna presented her adaption of William Mastrosimone’s play “Bang Bang, You’re Dead!” to the school. It was the 4th IB Theatre Independent Project performance of my second year here in LPC and aligns itself in the row of stunning high-quality student performances this year.
‘Bang Bang, You’re Dead!’ is an one-act-play of short length (only around thirty minutes) that explores the phenomena of high school shootings, especial in the United States. The play is aimed at raising awareness of the causes of such violence and touches several connected issues: bullying; availability of arms; relationship problems and a young broken heart. The play works without special light, the script is simple and there are no particular costumes needed: Hence, the play can be performed in any conditions and is accessible to a very broad audience.
Anna’s adaption was very close to the original play. The main actor is Josh, a teenage boy who has problems dealing with the ghosts of the people he has killed: his parents, and four of his school peers. The ghosts haunt him, ask him for the reasons of his actions. They recall him his childhood and his problems at home and in school. Josh had been hunting with a family member, had killed a dear, had turned into a man. His parents gave him a rifle, and when things started to grow difficult in his life, Josh decided to show everybody else that he was a man. His parents cannot hold him back, he shoots them on his way out of the house. In the school canteen, he kills four more. Bang Bang. They’re dead, and Josh is left: alive, alone, guilty, haunted. His memories and his guilt drive him insane. The play ends with him sobbing, falling to the ground: “I didn’t know it would be forever. I thought it was “Bang bang, you’re dead” again. I thought I could just hit the reset button and start over. Why can’t I have another chance? When I killed you, I killed all my possibilities, too. I’ll never have anything to look forward to. Never. Is this the rest of my life? Oh God.”
Anna had chosen her characters very well. They all knew, how to slip into their roles and performed them extraordinarily convincingly. Especially my Danish co-year, who played the role of Josh and had never been seen acting in a play before, surprised the audience with his persuasive performance. Steve, our theatre god himself wrote to the school in a promotional email, “Anna and her team have produced some great theatre.” Great it was indeed. Chapeau!