Knox Faculty Member's Play Selected for Collection

Playwrights Enter National Gun Control Debate

May 17, 2013

Neil BlackadderLeading up to a worldwide event -- Gun Control Theatre Action Week, May 27 through June 2 -- a play by Knox College theatre professor Neil Blackadder was selected for a new collection, "24 Gun Control Plays."

Co-edited by Obie Award-winning playwright Caridad Svich and Zac Kline and published by NoPassport Press, the collection of short plays features Blackadder's play, "Dad's Guns."

According to the publisher, the play shows a woman, Ellen, who "lovingly cleans her recently deceased father's firearms, as her brother Robert demonstrates a different, less positive attitude toward the guns."

Coordinated by Gun Control Theatre Action, Blackadder's play and others in the collection will be performed on May 28 at the Darlinghurst Theatre Company in Sydney, Australia. Other readings and performances have been held in New York City, Seattle, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington, DC.

Story Update
Darlinghurst Theatre Company
"Dad's Guns," by Knox professor Neil Blackadder, in a staged reading by John-Paul Pace and Ilya Levy, May 28 at the Darlinghurst Theatre Company in Sydney, Australia.

While "most of the works [in the collection] referenced tragedies," as one theatre critic, described the collection, Blackadder explains that he was interested in "exploring the physicality of firearms, their shiny metallic presence, and how that appeals to those with a positive attitude towards guns."

Blackadder, who has won international awards for theatre translations, said that in addition to guns as mechanical devices, his play also examines how people think about guns in popular culture, including popular music. "I'd love it if the play made the audience think more than they routinely do about both those things."

Blackadder said he had already started drafting his play when the editors issued their request for submissions in January, which drew more than 100 submissions. Other playwrights represented in the collection include Neil LaBute, Chiori Miyagawa, Elaine Avila, Yvette Heyliger, August Schulenburg and Saviana Stanescu. The volume also features commentaries by Tammy Ryan and D.W. Gregory.

Neil Blackadder at Knox, in class, rehearsal and informal soccer game with students

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