Teens Produce Remarkably Nuanced, Agenda-Free Play About Last July's Shootings

Teens Produce Remarkably Nuanced, Agenda-Free Play About Last July's Shootings

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.

‘Shots Fired’ Hits Close to Home for Dallas Teens

‘Shots Fired’ Hits Close to Home for Dallas Teens

The way the kids of Cry Havoc processed the aftermath of the July shooting was to work throughout the fall of 2016 on a documentary-style devised-theatre piece titled Shots Fired, which premiered in January 2017. To create the piece, Richards Bim, codirector Ruben Carrazana, and the actors tracked down as many people as they could find to interview about the night of the shooting: police officers, community members, therapists, Black Lives Matter supporters, and Blue Lives Matter folks as well. The company is currently remounting the show, in a coproduction with Dallas’s Kitchen Dog Theater, to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the shooting.

How teenage actors are bringing the Dallas police ambush to the stage

How teenage actors are bringing the Dallas police ambush to the stage

Last July, Cry Havoc Theater Company’s group of about a dozen teenage actors was preparing for its upcoming summer play Good Kids.

But the July 7 police ambush, which followed a peaceful protest in downtown Dallas, interrupted the young actors' practice. Founder Mara Richards Bim felt it was important to talk to the students about their emotions.