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    American Theatre - 1/8/20 - #ENOUGH: A New-Play Initiative Enlists Youth to Confront Gun Violence

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - December 18, 2019



    Michael Cotey, Producer          


    #ENOUGH, a nationwide initiative to end gun violence through playwriting launched today.


    • In collaboration with award-winning playwrights Lauren Gunderson, David Henry Hwang, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Robert Schenkkan and Karen Zacarías.


    • And a growing list of theatre partners including Arizona Theatre Company, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Orlando Repertory Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and the Utah Shakespeare Festival


    (CHICAGO, IL) – With the number of mass shootings in the United States on track to exceed 400 by the end of the year, a new campaign of theatre activism called #ENOUGH: Plays to End Gun Violence launched today. Its mission is to spark critical conversations about gun violence across the country by providing middle and high school students with a platform to express themselves through storytelling, foster open dialogue in their communities, and inspire creative action. Beginning in 2020 as a nationwide call for submissions of short plays written by students about gun violence, #ENOUGH culminates in an evening of simultaneous staged readings across the country of the most impactful plays on December 14, 2020 - the 8th anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings.


    “Our young people are growing up in a country where constant gun violence is becoming the norm. That’s unacceptable and shameful,” says #ENOUGH Producer Michael Cotey. “Our program is an opportunity for young people to be at the center of the conversations about gun violence every community in America needs to be having. The stories these teens tell will be a powerful reminder to the rest of us that, no, this is not normal, and hopefully inspire their communities to come together to take positive action.”


    Through a primarily grassroots effort, more than 60 schools nationwide have signed-on to participate in advance of #ENOUGH’s official launch. So have more than a dozen professional theatre companies. Top theatres in the country like Arizona Theatre Company, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Orlando Repertory Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and the Utah Shakespeare Festival have joined #ENOUGH in a growing list of partners.


    The finalist plays will be chosen by a panel of award-winning, nationally-recognized playwrights. That panel includes two of the most produced playwrights in the United States, Lauren Gunderson and Karen Zacarías, Tony Award winner David Henry Hwang, Academy Award winner Tarell Alvin McCraney, and Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Robert Schenkkan. The student authors of the chosen plays will be brought to the Utah Shakespeare Festival to workshop their plays in August before their plays are made available to communities taking part in the #ENOUGH Nationwide Reading.


    Submissions of short, 10-minute plays from students in grades 6-12 will be accepted starting January 1 through April 20, 2020 - the 21st anniversary of Columbine. Educators looking to involve their students, as well as theatres and other organizations looking to partner with #ENOUGH, should connect with the project via the website at, or email Cotey directly at




    #ENOUGH: Plays to End Gun Violence, LLC was founded in 2019 by director Michael Cotey to put America's young people at the center of the conversation on gun violence and incite meaningful change through the transformative power of storytelling. Fiscal sponsorship provided by Fractured Atlas.


    Michael Cotey, Founder & Producer

    Michael is a Chicago-based, Milwaukee-bred theatre-maker. Though primarily working as a freelance director, from 2009-2013 he was the Founding Artistic Director of Youngblood Theatre in Milwaukee, regularly celebrated by the theater community and the press as one of the city’s most exciting new theater ventures in decades. He's taught at UW-Madison, Roosevelt University, Northwestern, and UW-Milwaukee. Michael graduated from UW-Milwaukee with a BFA in Acting and from Northwestern University with an MFA in Directing. In 2014 he was named UWM’s “Graduate of the Last Decade.”


    #ENOUGH Advisory Committee

    Mara Richards Bim Artistic Director, Cry Havoc Theater

    Jonathan Schmidt Chapman Executive Director, Theater for Young Audiences / USA

    Idris Goodwin Artistic Director, StageOne Family Theatre

    Hallie Gordon Artistic Producer & Artistic Director, Steppenwolf for Young Adults

    Bill Rauch Artistic Director, Perelman Performing Arts Center

    Alvaro Saar Rios Resident Playwright, Chicago Dramatists

    Michael Rohd Artistic Director, Sojourn Theatre

    Sarah Ruhl Playwright

    Willa Taylor Director of Education & Engagement, Goodman Theatre


    Additional information including bios and photos for the above are available at


    Theatre Partners

    Arizona Theatre Company (Tucson / Phoenix, AZ)

    Berkeley Repertory Theatre (Berkeley, CA)

    Goodman Theatre (Chicago, IL)

    Orlando Repertory Theatre (Orlando, FL)

    South Coast Repertory (Costa Mesa, CA)

    Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Chicago, IL)

    Utah Shakespeare Festival (Cedar City, UT)


    Other Important Links

    Call for Submissions -

    Nationwide Reading -



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