Innumerable American children and teens are exposed to gun violence at home, in school, in their communities and in the media. In “Subway Story (A Shooting),” playwright/director William Electric Black means to elucidate the pressures that drive the epidemic in young people. The piece is the final installment of his five-play GUNPLAYS Series, which has dramatized the epidemic of gun violence using differing approaches and theatrical styles. Theater for the New City, which has presented the entire series, will mount “Subway Story (A Shooting),” its final installment, February 22 to March 18 in its Community Theater.
Written and directed by Ian Ellis James (aka William Electric Black), Subway Story (A Shooting) shows all the living poetry among all the frustration of what seems like any other subway ride in New York. It also reveals to us that there is truly no average subway ride in New York. The center of this particular subway ride is Chevonn (Sarah Shah), a teenager who needs to write an essay in order to advance to the 12th grade, according to her teacher Mr. Evers (Levern Williams). She chooses to write about all the people she encounters on the subway on the day she decides to buy a gun to kill her mother (Jacqueline Nwabueze). The play is told in flashbacks of Chevonn’s life, cleverly interspersed with the stories of strong characters surrounding her and with God as a latter-day Andy Warhol (played to perfection by John Patterson). The show opens with a crowded subway featuring everyone in the cast (Shah, Williams, Nwabueze, Patterson, Sebastian Gutierrez, Jeremy Landieri, Natalie Marie Martino, Mohamed Madboly, Brandon SNGDNC Mellette, Yesenia Rivas, Camille Upshaw). The cast all take on roles familiar on every subway ride – the distracted MTA booth teller, other MTA workers, the soulf …Read more