HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — A local high school is joining a national call to address gun violence.
Performing arts students at Kecoughtan High School will present ENOUGH: Plays to End Gun Violence at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6.
This comes as Hampton city leaders and police work to address the issue.
The students will share six short stage readings, written by students nationwide.
Niarra Bell, a Kecoughtan High School graduate, is one playwright whose work will be featured during the event.
“I wanted my students to do something that would get their voices heard on a national level,” said Tracy Bourne, Kecoughtan’s theater director. “It was difficult for them, and we had some talks about why this work was necessary and the power of theater to reach people when ‘thoughts and prayers’ aren’t enough and just ‘having conversations’ isn’t enough.”
Riley Booker told 10 On Your Side preparing for the role is very challenging.
“I’m in the play ‘Call for Help.’ This follows the story of three dispatchers answering different calls from different people in extremely different walks of life, all going through the similar notion of different forms of gun violence,” Booker said. “I play Cameron, who is a 12-year-old boy who, in an unfortunate happenstance, has accidentally shot his best friend and doesn’t know what to do because he’s entirely alone.”
After the play, a 30-minute ‘talk back’ invites city council, school board members and several youth leadership organizations to take part.
Students like Shemaiah Reynolds lead the discussion.
“It’s very important to me,” Reynolds said. “I would love to see our community come together, as a whole, where we could all agree that advocating for gun violence to stop is very important for the kids as a community. There’s always there’s always a solution. You can either talk it out or sit, have a conversation instead of resorting to gun violence.”
The nationwide reading is free and open to the public.