It was overheard as a husband and wife walked out ArtStreet Studio D: school shooting, children dead, children alive, survivors and coping mechanisms. During the National Collegiate Premiere of The Warrior: A Play Oct. 30, the audience stood beside the actors exploring what it means to cope and find healing.
The Warrior: A Play was written by one of the survivors of the March 24, 1998, Westside Middle School shooting in Jonesboro, Ark. Mary Hollis Inboden wanted to reconnect with her former classmates and have a discussion on the shooting with hope of finding healing through each other. The Warrior was one of the final exhibits of “Bullet: Who Pulls the Trigger?”, a six-week event at the University’s ArtStreet that featured artwork from America’s most devastated areas affected by gun violence.
“It was a risky piece to write and produce,” said Evan Linder, the author and director, before the start of the play.
He said the goal of the play was to get people close to the action and not feel like an audience member, but one of the characters. The play’s documentary-style format created conversations, like the one between the husband and the wife. The audience was located intimately with those on stage to create a sense of camaraderie and shared feeling of pain, confusion, anger and regret.
“Let’s start a conversation,” said Brian LaDuca, director of ArtStreet.