MS. MARTIN'S MALAISE
sponsored by: john weidman
"He has a gun with him. In his backpack. I saw it."
Ms. Martin's Malaise
Adelaide Fisher is a Florida-based writer and a current junior. She wrote this play with the support of the Orlando Repertory Theater. She's been involved in theatre since she was 5, and wrote her first play in the 7th grade for Young Playwrights for Change. Right now, you can find her both onstage and behind the scenes proudly representing International Thespian Troupe 6614. When she's not at rehearsal, she spends her time reading, baking, studying, and doing art. She lives with her mom, her dad, her younger brother, and two pet snails, named Velma and Daphne.
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?
Get to Know Adelaide
When did you start writing? What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?
I've been writing basically since I was able to, starting with little hand-drawn books and short stories, and leading up to my first play in 7th grade, this contest, and everything I'll write in the future. I'm definitely influenced by many of the books and authors I've read and loved, and all of the shows I've seen or worked on, all of them have shown me new genres and given me new ideas. Writing is also in my blood, my dad has done a lot of scriptwriting, for my old Sunday School and beyond, and I definitely think my passion and talent for writing comes from him.
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?
The Orlando Repertory Theatre reached out to me for this project, since I had done some writing with them in the past, and invited me to come to a class discussing the issue of gun violence and then write something for the competition. The class was interesting, and I felt like I learned a lot of facts from it, but I was lacking a story to tell. That was until I mentioned what I was working on to my old middle school principal at a PTA event. She ended up telling me a story about her own experience with gun violence, as a principal. That story and her thoughts and opinions, combined with ones from my current high school principal, created the idea and plot for my play.
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 wish that there was more theatre on LGBTQ+ rights and women's rights. I am deeply connected to both of these groups, and as we can see right now after the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, all of these rights are constantly at stake. No one should feel like they are going to be attacked or lose access to things they need for who they love, how they identify, or what they choose to do with their body, and more we show LGBTQ+ and female characters and stories onstage and in popular media, the more normalized they become, and the more accepting and safe the world becomes.
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'd like to write a future where everyone is equal, loved, and has their needs met. Where no one needs to worry about where their next meal is coming from, or what the environment and world is going to be like by the time they are grown up, or if they're going to be able to afford the health care they need, or if they're going to be able to marry the person they love. There is really only so much we really need in life to survive and be happy, and I'd like to be able to write a future where everyone has that.
What are some of your favorite plays?
Favorite show I've ever done (and one of my favorite shows, period) is Horse Girls by Jenny Rachel Weiner. A few of my other favorites are Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl, Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare, Little Shop of Horrors by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, Hadestown by Anais Mitchell, and Do Not Go Gentle by Suzan Zeder.
What will your next play be about?
I’m not sure yet, I have a few ideas but they aren’t very developed. Maybe something about a family in which the members are various religions visiting each other in December, or maybe a comedy about the Greek Gods set in a 1950s sock hop!
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 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.
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 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 Debkanya Mitra
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.
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.
Students in grades 6-12 write short plays on the topic of gun violence.
Explore this year's collection of plays that reveal the many dimensions of gun violence in America and the young playwrights who wrote them.