Be warned: Cry Havoc’s production of Shots Fired opens with gunfire. It’s a jarring beginning to 90 extraordinary minutes of documentary-style theater covering the July 7, 2016, Dallas police shootings by Cry Havoc Theater Company.
Cry Havoc’s teen actors convey as much depth, empathy and emotion as any adult actors onstage in Dallas and likely anywhere. These are kids to watch.
This is a talented, sharp group of actors. They worked around a WFAA-TV (Channel 8) camera operator Saturday night and treated the audience to their maturity during the talkback. Brown, the DPD officer, congratulated the actors during the talkback, telling them they nailed the feelings of many officers and that he'd recommend the show to his colleagues.
Choreography by Emily Bernet that adds physical elements of the show is quite well done. Sound and lighting design by John M. Flores and Aaron Johansen, respectively, are crucial components that add credibility to this documentary.
Never have I seen an audience that wasn’t predominantly white at a theater. Cry Havoc has tapped into something that appeals to different kinds of theatergoers. It is a conversation to be had. There is no agenda to this play, just real voices from the Dallas community.
A handful of the actors graduated high school this year. It will be exciting to see what they do next.
Anyone who cares about the national conversation around race relations and police brutality will find something to take away from this, regardless political leanings. This production is a true catalyst for a difficult conversation in a time when we can all use a little understanding.