GUNPLAY (after the gun goes off)

Written by:

Jennifer Walton

Cast Size:
11

Roles For:

  • Men: 6
  • Women: 5

Genre:

Drama

Themes:

School
Social Justice
Violence

Length:

90 min.

Year Written:

2021

Synopsis:

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.

Characters:

TREVOR STEVENS – Police Officer suffering from PTSD. Age: 30 – 40​
KELLY – STEVENS’ wife and mother to his two children. Age: 30 – 40​
MIRANDA – DARRYL’S mother – Single mother trying to keep it all together. Age: 35 – 49​
DARRYL – 15 year old boy, just finishing grade nine​. ​ A pretty good kid who messed up.​
NIKO – 15​ year old boy, just finishing grade nine. Has ADHD, pretty messed up.
MS. D’ANGELO – Elementary school teacher – committed, kind, and caring​
DESK CLERK -​No nonsense, efficient admin who has seen it all
DETECTIVE THOMAS – Officer assigned to DARRYL and NIKO’S case​
MRS. MURPHY – High School Principal – entrenched bureaucrat.​
DANIELS – STEVENS’ long time patrol partner – they’ve been through a lot together.​
JOHN – NIKO’S Father – speaks what he feels is the truth, even when it’s not popular.​

First Produced:

Voaden Prize winner - 2021. Interlochen Arts Academy School production) 2022

Resources:

The play can be accessed through the Canadian Play Outlet.

Notes:

ACTORS: 4M / 2W – double cast for 11 roles – 6M / 5W​
*The roles of Detective Thomas, Daniels, and John can be played by the same actor
**The roles of Ms. D’Angelo, Mrs. Murphy, the Desk Clerk and Kelly can be played by the same actor
***Ultimately, double casting can be used at the Director’s discretion, but the piece was written to accommodate a cast of six actors.

Warnings:

Alludes to suicide indirectly, guns, school shooting, school lockdown, swearing, PTSD