Getting There

A solo play-in-progress in which a group of characters – witnesses, victims and perpetrators – struggle to cope with violence and its impact upon their lives. For Luz, ignoring the violence in her community only serves to remind her of how close it hits home. Carlos laments the loss of his best friend and blames the wrong people. Rey tries to understand the cycle of violence that put him in a wheelchair. Mateo endeavors to atone for pulling the trigger by facing his victim. Frustrated by decades of cold cases, Sgt. Gutierrez calls out neighborhood bystanders. Wanda, rallying for justice and peace in her city, implores us to remember “a life is a life is a life, black, brown or white.”

Getting There explores three overarching issues: 1) how an individual reaches the point of committing violence; 2) how violence impacts individuals and communities; and, 3) how the violence may have been prevented.

Through the piece I’m hoping to:

• Raise awareness about the different factors that can contribute to violence, and in particular, gun violence, such as adverse childhood experiences, and easy access to guns (lax or ineffectively enforced gun control laws);

• Promote discussion of the notion that violence can be a learned behavior, passed on from generation to generation;

• Foster a deeper understanding of the underlying causes and effects of gun violence as a means of informing strategies for intervention and prevention;

• Encourage trauma-informed systems and community resilience programs;

• Inspire/spark discourse and action on gun control as well as restorative justice.

Janis Astor del Valle