Friday, August 3, 2018

Minnesota Fringe Festival 2018: "Gunfighting: An American Story"

Day: 1

Show: 3

Category: Storytelling

By: Hero Props

Created by: Seán McArdle

Location: Mixed Blood Theatre

Summary: A well-researched presentation on the history of gun rights and regulations in America from a props designer and stage gun safety instructor.

Highlights: This is a conversation we need to have, that we've needed to have for years, decades even, that we need to have even more every day. Seán approaches the problem of gun violence from the perspective of someone who grew up with guns and has made a career working with prop guns and teaching proper safety. His belief that people handling real guns should have as much safety training as those handling prop guns, the suicide of an uncle, and the courage of the Parkland students inspired him to do this show, even though he's usually backstage. With the help of a slide show (historic photographs, film clips, quotes, and pop culture references) he leads us through his personal history with guns both real and fake, the proper procedure for handling guns onstage, and a very brief history of gun legislation, and provides some very reasonable suggestions for how all sides of this debate can come together, find common ground, and enact sensible legislation that will save lives while not infringing on anyone's constitutional rights (step one: don't buy what the NRA is selling). If you're looking for fun escapist Fringe, this is not it, but if you're looking for an interesting perspective on one of the biggest public safety issues of our time, you've found it. Recommended reading: Gunfight by Adam Winkler. Recommended organization: Everytown.

Read all of my Fringe mini-reviews here.