Bang Bang You’re Dead! A School Shooting Play


Victims of the shooting displaying their pain. SJSU came to Lincoln to show them a first-take of “Bang Bang You’re Dead!”. November 27, 2019 located in the Black Box Theater (Lion Tales/Andrea Saldana).

San Jose State University gave Lincoln High School the pleasure to have a first-look at their upcoming show titled, “Bang Bang You’re Dead!” written by William Mastrosione and directed by Buddy Butler. The theater show is about a young man and how his decision on shooting his high school was detrimental for himself and his community. The play focuses on the events before the shooting and how it all unveiled, all narrated by the those who were shot by the school shooter. The pain and sorrow seen through their acting gave the crowd chills and felt for those who have gone through the same experiences. The purpose of this play is to address that violence isn’t the answer and this trend of violence at schools shouldn’t be tolerated. 

This was all portrayed through the perspective of the school shooter, who grew up in a small town, he faced bullying and had problems at home with his parents that caused him to burst out and decide to cause the inhumane act. However, the narrators who are the victims in the shooting helped him understand that what he did wasn’t right and now he has to live with the consequences such as being arrested in federal prison and having the spirits of those he killed haunt him for the rest of his life. 

At the end of “Bang Bang You’re Dead!”, students were able to ask the cast and the director questions about the play. I asked the actor who played the lead role as the school shooter as to how he felt playing that character and he responded with, “The approach that I took on this, obviously he’s not a normal high school student, but he does start as one. I played him as a guy who was pushed over by his emotions. I don’t know, it didn’t feel great, but I played him as a regular high school student.”

“Bang Bang You’re Dead!” explicitly shows the horror and tragedy of mass shootings that have now become a reality for many people. According to the Hammer Theater website, “Bang Bang You’re Dead! will tour local and Bay Area schools during the week of November 17th, 2019 and play at the Hammer Theatre Center’s Hammer 4 Theatre for four performances. December 4th, 5th, and 6th @11 AM for school matinees and December 7th @ 7PM for a public performance. All performances are free and will have a talk-back following “

Check out for more information regarding “Bang Bang You’re Dead!”