Guest Author - Cavelle Natasha Layes
Today's society is very much media run, it has been escalading throughout the years to the point where we crave celebrity gossip. We check in each day hoping to hear about Britney's latest meltdown, which celebrities are getting divorced and we even make bets on when Brangelina will be having their next baby. But at what point exactly was it that we began to take tragic events and turn them into entertainment? It's almost sickening to think about, we are all guilty of it, and Gerald Arthur Moore without hesitation takes this horrible mess which we have been trying to ignore and forces us to look it straight in the eye with his play Just Another School Shooting.
Moore forces us to look at a tragic event the way no one else has before, through the eyes of its victims. We so often think of the victims as those who were killed, and forget completely about those who were left alive to suffer. In the same way we tend to over look that the victims do not only suffer physically but mentally and emotionally as well. Moore in so many ways makes us face a harsh reality. A reality that makes us just as much of a bad guy as the one holding the gun. A reality where we make the killer a celebrity and the victims a forgotten, nameless, statistic.
The play itself is about four high school students who survived a school shooting, though not all of them suffer from physical wounds we are quick to see that they all do indeed suffer. Each personality copes in his or her own way, one turns to alcohol, her pain that accompanies each swallow made clear, another suffers from severe depression caused by guilt of destroying another's future, and yet another though now stuck in a wheel chair suffers more from mixed feelings of abandonment, self pity and rage. The characters are very much cliches, the perky cheerleader with the football star boyfriend, the miserable goth and the brain with a future to become the next super surgeon, but to me this was done on purpose. I believe this was done to show how this tragic event brought these four people together, each with completely opposite personalities and formed a life long friendship which otherwise would have never existed. Even though the media only shows us the negativity surrounding these events there is some good that does arise. These four friends help each other through the mess, help each other understand something that even they do not.
Just Another School Shooting allows us to see the pure bravery these students embody. Not because they survived the shooting, but how they survive day to day afterwards. Their bravery was present when each of these four high school students vowed to do whatever they can, no matter how small of attempt it was, to take their shooter from the celebrity status which we created for him and knock him down to a level he more deserves.
Moore's play is a fresh look at a topic that has been done countless times before. It gives us something to think about and maybe even feel a little guilty about. I believe if the right actors/actress' are casted for this play it will be not just an event worth seeing but one which will be regretted if missed.