Cry Havoc! And Let Teens Loose To Create Plays

Mara Richards Bim's high school company, Cry Havoc, lets students collaborate on dramas - about some very intense issues.

Last year, the teen theater company, Cry Havoc, created, ‘Shots Fired,’ an acclaimed show about the July 7th Dallas police ambush. Inevitably, parts of the many interviews that students did – interviews with officers and protestors and victims’ relatives – were cut for time. But now Cry Havoc founder-director Mara Richards Bim and her students are developing a new show on what got cut: the entire issue of gun violence.

“Do I have everyone’s paperwork?” Mara Richards Bim asks the assembled high school students and their parents.

We’re in a classroom at Eastfield College. Richards Bim is collecting signed releases. Creating a Cry Havoc show requires recording, even videotaping, students while they’re interviewing people – hence, the signed releases. The interviews are part of what’s called ‘devised theater’ or ‘documentary theater.’ Moises Kaufman, currently an artist in residence at UNT and the creator of ‘The Laramie Project’ – perhaps the best-known example of such reality-based dramas – calls his approach “moment theater.”