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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: ‘#ENOUGH: Plays to End Gun Violence’ project includes Door County theater

Critic At Large

Third Avenue Playhouse

Project logo.

STURGEON BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Third Avenue Playhouse will be part of a Dec. 14 nationwide virtual reading of short plays written by teenagers on the subject of gun violence.

According to the theater’s website:

The “#ENOUGH: Plays to End Gun Violence” nationwide reading is the culmination of a year-long theater activism initiative. The project started with calls for submissions from teens to write 10-minute plays that confront the issue of gun violence. Received were 184 submissions from 23 states and three countries. Selecting the top seven plays was a panel of award-winning playwrights made up of Lauren Gunderson, David Henry Hwang, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Robert Schenkkan and Karen Zacarias.

Third Avenue Playhouse will host a reading of the seven plays online at 7 p.m. Dec. 14. Registration is required. Admission is free. Info: thirdavenueplayhouse.com.

A talkback will follow the readings.

Directors and cast members will present the virtual reading from nine states: Wisconsin, New York, Illinois, Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina and Massachusetts.

Third Avenue Playhouse also is streaming three discussions about the “#ENOUGH: Plays to End Gun Violence” project leading into the readings on its Facebook page, all starting at 7 p.m.

+ Dec. 7: Robert Boles, co-artistic director of Third Avenue Playhouse, will interview Michael Cotey, creator and director of “#ENOUGH: Plays to End Gun Violence.”

+ Dec. 9: Panel discussion with directors of the plays: Robert Boles, Adam Qutaishat, Cuquois Robledoh, Isaiah Spetz, Malkia Stamply, Marie Tredway and Michael Wright.

+ Dec. 11: Panel discussion with the playwrights: Adelaide Fisher, Eislinn Gracen, Azya Lyons, Debranya Mitra, Olivia Ridley, Sarah Schecter and Elizabeth Shannon.

All interviews will be archived on the Third Avenue Playhouse website after the initial air date.

Participants include these with area ties:

Isaiah Spetz, a Door County native, is majoring in theater at New York University. He performed locally with Northern Sky Theater, Third Avenue Playhouse and Peninsula Players Theatre and in musicals and plays for Sevastopol High School. Spetz is directing the reading of “Ghost Gun,” a desperate monologue to an audience held at gunpoint.

Robert Boles, Third Avenue Playhouse co-artistic director since 2011, is directing the reading of “Hullabaloo,” in which gun violence is explored as a spectacle through a show gone wrong.

Ryan Schabach has performed with Third Avenue Playhouse. He is in the cast of “Hullabaloo.”

Lori Wier, an artist and musician from Algoma, has performed with Door County community theater companies since 2014. She is in the cast of “Malcolm,” a story of a Black folk musician whose runs into violence as told through four individuals.

Rayne Kleinofen was seen in Door Shakespeare’s virtual “The Comedy of Errors” and staged reading of “Shakespeare’s Legacy.” She has the lead in “Ms. Martin’s Malaise,” about a teacher struggling with the everyday stress of 21st-centry teaching who faces a confrontation.

The winning plays were made available for readings – virtually because of COVID-19 pandemic concerns or in-person where safe – to theaters, school theatrical groups, community organizations and other groups across the country.

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