Theatrefolk - The Drama Teacher Resource Company

Theatrefolk Featured Play: Clowns with Guns by Christopher Evans

Welcome to our Featured Play Spotlight. If you’re looking for a play that takes a stand and gets people talking, then read on. This month we’re featuring Clowns with Guns by Christoper Evans – a play that both audiences and performers will never forget.

Step right up! Step right up! It’s the SCHOOL-SHOOT-O-RAMA! And the question everyone’s asking is “Am I walking out alive today?”

Clowns with Guns takes a theatrical and absurd look at the repeated and seemingly endless cycle of school violence. It happens, everyone is terribly upset, things continue on as normal, it happens again.

This story is mean. There are guns. The play puts school shooting violence out in the open and forces all of us to do the same. Read the play with this knowledge.

Why did we publish this play?
Clowns with Guns takes a theatrical and absurd look at the repeated and seemingly endless cycle of school violence. It happens, everyone is terribly upset, things continue on as normal, and it happens again. We wanted to publish this play because it puts school shooting violence out in the open and forces us to do the same. It’s not a gentle play, it’s mean. And we wanted a play out there on the topic that makes a stand.

Let’s hear from the author!


1. Why did you write this play?
This was my comment on the seeming acceptance of school and mass shootings. I was angry and wanted to be an angry voice that said “This is not okay. I do not accept this.”

2. Describe the theme in one or two sentences.
A cycle of violence will not stop unless we do something to stop it.

3. What’s the most important visual for you in this play?
The introduction of the silent clowns, Thoughts and Prayers, at the end of every stylized shooting. This was my comment that after every event all we would do is send Thoughts and Prayers. Nothing else. Nothing changed.

4. If you could give one piece of advice for those producing the play, what would it be?
Embrace the absurdity and the message. This isn’t a play to be enjoyed. It’s social satire and it’s going to make your audience very engaged, possibly angry. Some folks don’t like to be seen in a negative light.

5. Why is this play great for student performers?
It adds Absurd Theatre to their resume. It’s unlike any play they’ve done. It’s not safe. It’s mean and if you go as far with these characters as the script demands, you’ll never forget this play. Neither will your audience. That’s what theatre should be.


Products referenced in this post: Clowns with Guns (A Vaudeville)

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