sponsored by: FRED KINGSLEY
"when I came back from the gas station, before getting into my car
I saw him
walking in the park, whistling"
Debkanya Mitra is a Maryland-based writer and is currently a student at the University of Maryland.
Get to Know Debkanya
When did you start writing? What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?
I began writing plays in 5th grade, when a playwright-resident came to our school. My parents and friends have been my biggest influences. They've been my editors, and their personalities are at the root of my characters.
How did you come to write your #ENOUGH play? Given that there are many dimensions to the issue of gun violence, what aspect did you focus on and why?
In June, when I wrote the first draft, the issue of police brutality dominated the public conversation. I began with a question: what if it happened here? Even though Malcolm is set in a fictional location, it reflects the suburbia that I’m familiar with.
What other issues or subjects do you care deeply about that you wish you saw on stage more? Why is this issue important for you?
I’m very concerned about America’s opioid epidemic, and I’d like to see drama that explores addiction. Right now, many people see addiction as a moral failing, when in reality it’s a medical & psychological condition. Maybe theater can help correct this misconception?
If you could write a play or story that represented the future you want to be a part of, what would it look like?
I want to write a comedy that features a group of friends going on an adventure, possibly a road trip.
What are some of your favorite plays?
Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine by Lynn Nottage; Water By the Spoonful by Quiara Alegria Hudes; and John by Annie Baker.
What will your next play be about?
I've been busy trying to figure that out.
Four individuals tell the story of Malcolm, a Black folk musician whose quest through the Eastern Seaboard to find himself was violently interrupted, painting an evocative picture of the connection shared among strangers through a single life.
MS. MARTIN'S MALAISE
by Adelaide Fisher
Ms. Martin is an ordinary high school teacher, trying to deal with the everyday stress and worrying ‘what-ifs’ of 21st century teaching. But when her worst fears come true, and she is forced to make a difficult decision and an even more difficult confrontation, what will she do? And how will she move forward from it?
by Olivia Ridley
Propelled by the urgency of his own decay and desperate to be heard, BLACK BOY delivers his “villain’s monologue” - a parting speech typically delivered to a hero before their death - to his audience held at gunpoint.
GUNS IN DRAGONLAND
by Eislinn Gracen
During a recess like any other, Lilah Gordon and her best friend/imaginary dragon, Toucan, set off on a special adventure to help Lilah earn dragon wings of her own. But things go awry when a mysterious noise from her nearby school compels the duo to embark on the biggest quest they have ever encountered.
by Sarah Schecter
In this re-imagining of Buffalo Bill’s storytelling and P.T. Barnum’s grandeur, a ringleader explores the fusion of American myth and gun culture through four acts of an incredible spectacle - and a show gone terribly wrong.
by Azya Lyons
Imani, Aiyanna, Chayenne, and Aaliyah have just graduated high school and are celebrating at a party in their honor until their evening of entertainment takes a tragic turn.
by Elizabeth Shannon
When a rumor about a school shooter begins to circulate, Kiersa and her friends must decide what they should do to protect their classmates before it is too late.
Explore this year's collection of plays that reveal the many dimensions of gun violence in America and the young playwrights who wrote them.
Students in grades 6-12 write short plays on the topic of gun violence.