In response to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, Working Group Theatre will perform tomorrow, December 20, at 7:30pm at Uptown Bill’s (30 S. Dubuque St. in Iowa City). The play, “A Short Play to Start a Longer Conversation,” will consist of performers reading passages from “found sources”—blogs posts, articles, and comments that have circulated in the public since the shooting occurred on December 14.
Martin Andrews, the Producing Director of Working Group Theatre, said that people involved with the theatre felt a visceral reaction to hearing of the shooting and felt the need to address their feelings through performance. “We want to talk with others about what we’ve been listening to and watching, “ said Andrews. “Instead of just ingesting more, we need to look at the reactions and rhetoric out there.”
The play’s title is an apt description. It will be short, at only 45 minutes in length. Working Group Theatre hopes that by addressing the complex emotions and reactions generated by the shooting, they can start an ongoing conversation. In a world where social media can create an electronic echo chamber of reactions, a performance by live human beings offers a welcome opportunity for public reflection.