Local actors take part in national short play readings on anniversary of Sandy Hook shootings

Local News

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — More than 40 child, teen and adult actors took part in a national stream of seven short plays about gun violence.

The Celebration Company at the Station Theatre performed in “#ENOUGH: Plays to End Gun Violence,” featuring plays written by high schoolers. The plays debuted through YouTube and the Station Theatre’s Facebook page on December 14, 2020, the eight-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings.

The play readings were all directed by first-time Station Theatre directors: Centennial High School senior Chevonne Dixon, Parkland student Excellence Onalundula, Illinois Theatre students Leojaé Payton and Emily Albert-Stauning, local theatre artists Shawn Rodriguez and Prince Robertson, and Leslie Smith of Black Voices Theatre Productions.

“This project furthers the Station Theatre’s mission to connect with the greater Champaign-Urbana community and increase participation of people from underrepresented communities,” Station Theatre board president Jaclyn Loewenstein said in a statement. “It’s a timely opportunity to bring together activism and the arts.” 

Following the performances, Station Theatre board member Latrelle Bright and members of C-U’s Moms Demand Action group led a Zoom discussion.

The plays focused on gun violence, the threat of school shootings, police shootings, community violence, race and gun culture. The winning plays were selected from 184 submissions by a panel that included Lauren Gunderson, Academy Award winner Tarell Alvin McCraney, Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert Schenkkan, Tony Award-winner David Henry Hwang and Karen Zacarías.

More details on all seven winning playwrights and their plays, can be found online here.  

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.