I first heard about this play in 2015, when a few excerpts were read at a fundraiser for Protect Minnesota, a local organization that works to end gun violence. The next year I saw the full play at the Minnesota Fringe Festival, which I had forgotten until I was in the theater and it began to feel familiar. But it's definitely worth seeing again (or for the first time), to witness the very personal story of one person's changing relationship to guns. I wrote in 2016 that the playwright "speaks very plainly, directly, and conversationally about her experiences with guns, both the good and the bad. Growing up in rural Oregon, her family always had guns and she herself learned to shoot from her soon-to-be husband. She also tells a story about when she was held up at gunpoint while working in a book store, as well as a personally devastating experience that forever changed her life."
|Lauren Diesch (photo courtesy of Uprising)
The playwright urges both sides to meet somewhere in the middle. A middle where there are sensible gun laws about safety, training, and who should have guns, but also an acknowledgment that people use guns for hunting, recreation, and self-defense. Uprising has partnered with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Survivor Resources, a local organization that "provides immediate and long-term grief support for family and friends affected by suicide, homicide, overdose or accidental death." Both organizations have materials and representatives at the show, and Uprising facilitates a post-show discussion after every performance, truly putting into practice their belief that "stories can change the world."
The Gun Show continues at off-leash area art box in South Minneapolis through May 18. Click here for info and times, and to purchase $20 tickets (also available on a sliding scale).