Art & Seek has been following the teenage members of the Cry Havoc theater troupe for months now as they’ve interviewed people – politicians, a gun range owner, gun control advocates, shooting survivors — for a play about the entire gun debate. The high schoolers even became NRA members so they could attend last weekend’s convention. The group spent Friday and Saturday doing just that. But on the third day, they were escorted out of the convention center by police.
Late Sunday morning, three members of Cry Havoc – Sheldrick Pearl of Skyline High, Fabian Rodriquez and Andrew Beeson, both seniors at Seagoville – were interviewing a young man on the convention floor, while the theater company’s videographer, Taylor Valdez recorded them. They attracted the attention of Charles Brown, a nearby gun vendor. He told the group that unless they had press credentials, they shouldn’t be interviewing.
Valdez warned the students the vendor was probably going to call security.
One of the teens, Fabian Rodriguez, recalls, “”She was like, we should probably go, and we were just walking until the security, he was like, ‘Excuse me, guys,’ and we thought he was just going to pass us, but then he was like, ‘You guys can’t be recording, you guys have to get that out of here.’
The students’ interviews are for ‘Babel,’ a play they’re developing on the gun debate — from background checks to school shootings to open carry. Eventually, all ten students, and the three adults who accompanied them – Valdez, Cry Havoc director Mara Richards Bim and assistant director Allison Hibbs – were escorted out by security members and Dallas Police officers. They were told they could return – but without their recording equipment.