BWW Reviews: Daisey's THE STORY OF THE GUN is a Conversation-Starter
Monologist Mike Daisey was commissioned by PlayMakers Repertory Company to create a piece about one of America's biggest "hot button" topics: guns. In his The Story of the Gun, Daisey explores Americans' relationship with guns using historical anecdotes and personal history, to create a thought-provoking exploration of how Americans feel about guns and why they feel that way.
The stage set-up looks like a Congressional testimony on CSPAN, and the show consists of Daisey sitting behind a desk talking, but the show's pace is excellent and Daisey's excellent skills as a monologist keep it interesting the entire time. There are no lulls, no "slower moments" - the show is engaging from start to finish.
Daisey certainly can't be expected to take on the entire issue of guns in America in one evening. The perspective he presents is, naturally, rooted in his own upbringing. Having grown up in rural Maine, Daisey's discussion begins with his first experience with guns, with going to a high school where students went hunting before class, and with having a psychiatrist father to whom patients turned their guns over. Daisey goes into the pivotal role of guns in the establishment of America as a nation, their undeniable role in our history from the very beginning. Direct implications for today are left in the [impetus] of the audience's minds to continue the discussion. Daisey doesn't directly mention any highly-publicized mass casualties, doesn't mention at all any gang violence, murder rates, or news stories. However, throughout the monologue are the seeds for those discussions. Daisey filled his 90-or-so minutes wisely.
The Story of the Gun is sure to get audience members talking about the issues at hand, and will have people examining their own lives to delve more deeply into their own ideas about guns.
The Story of the Gun is part of PlayMakers' PRC2, and plays in the Kenan Theater. For tickets and more information, visit www.playmakersrep.org.