THE GUN SHOW on Tour to USA and Edinburgh
Following a sold out run last fall in Portland with CoHo Season 21, this hit co-production of The Gun Show by E.M. Lewis starring Vin Shambry will travel to the renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival for 3 weeks this summer. Other tour locations in the US will raise support for this incredible opportunity to share a play about one Oregonian's personal gun stories in a "country full of gun stories" and generate civic conversation with an international audience. A video is now live, featuring footage and reviews from CoHo's hit production, and messages from the playwright and actor asking for support for this tour. Tax-deductible donatations accepted via CoHo online.
2017 Tour Dates for The Gun Show
July 1, 2017: Artists Repertory Theatre, Portland, OR
July 6-16, 2017: Logan Festival of Solo Performance; 1st Stage Theatre, Tysons, VA
December 1-2, 2017: Willamette University Theatre, Salem, OR
ABOUT THE PLAYPlaywright E.M. Lewis sits with the audience while actor Vin Shambry shares her stories - just five gun stories in a country full of gun stories.
Her words. His voice. Our story.
She grew up in rural Oregon, where everyone has guns. She learned to shoot on a date. She worked at Jackson's Bookstore during an armed robbery, and once encountered a threatening cop in New York. And then there's the fifth story: the one that doesn't let go, the story that triggered this show.
The Gun Show takes aim at America's most dangerous past-time with brutal honesty and poignant humor. Leaning neither right nor left, it jumps into the middle of the gun control debate and asks "Can we have a conversation about this?"
Gun Talks will follow each performance. Audience members may share their own gun stories together with the artists and community members in a moderated conversation about issues raised in the production, including safety, violence, control and personal gun stories.
As part of The Gun Show, we believe in engaging young people in this critical conversation. To that end, every city we visit we will bring the production into local high schools free of charge as well as stops at colleges and universities. Young people have a unique and powerful perspective on guns in America, and we want to ensure they have the opportunity to speak and be heard.
"Seeing The Gun Show totally opened my eyes to an issue that I had never bothered to think about in more than one light. I saw it three times- once with my friends, once at school with classmates, and once with the general public, and each time, the conversation post show helped me to learn even more about the many ways we in America interact with guns." - Quinland, Wilson High School Senior
This touring production of The Gun Show, directed by Shawn Lee, featuring Vin Shambry premiered in Portland, OR in 2016 as part of CoHo Productions Season 21. The play premiered at 16th Street Theater in Chicago, directed by Kevin Christopher Fox and starring Juan Francisco Villa. It has since toured the US extensively, including Los Angeles, Denver, Berkeley, Tuscon, Tampa, Trenton, New York City, Bellingham, Richmond, Minneapolis, Santa Barbara and Fort Myers. It was developed at Moving Arts (LA), Emerging Artists Theater's One Man Talking Series (NY), Dramatists Guild Conference (Chicago) and Cornelia Street Cafe (NYC).
THE PLAYWRIGHT, E.M. Lewis
E.M. Lewis (Playwright, Performer) is a playwright and librettist. Recipient of the Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, the Steinberg Award (Song of Extinction) and Primus Prize (Heads) from the American Theater Critics Association, the Ted Schmitt Award from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, a fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and the 2016 Oregon Literary Fellowship in Drama. She was recently commissioned by the Kennedy Center to write a play for college students, called You Can See All the Stars. Her epic play Magellanica, which is set in Antarctica, will premiere at Artists Rep in Portland and her intimate play Apple Season will premiere at New Jersey Rep next season. Lewis is published by Samuel French, and is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild. She lives in Oregon. www.emlewisplaywright.com
THE ACTOR, Vin Shambry
Vin Shambry (Co-Producer, Performer) is honored to be part of this important and powerful show. As a local Portlander himself, it is especially meaningful to tell this story of rural Oregon, particularly during this time in our nation, and as a black man. Vin is a resident artist at Artist Repertory Theater and has performed in numerous local shows at Portland Center Stage, Portland Playhouse, Oregon Children's Theater, Staged, Portland Opera, and Artists Repertory Theater. Before returning home to Portland, Vin performed on Broadway as Tom Collins in Rent and John in Miss Saigon, and toured nationally with Rent, Miss Saigon, Honk and Big River.
Vin was recently voted Portland's Best Actor by Willamette Weekly reader's poll (2016), has won three Portland Drammys (2011), and an Audience Award for Best Actor in a Play for Black Man Rising (2006). Vin has a BFA in Musical Theatre from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC (2005). Vin also moonlights as a live storyteller at the Moth, Back Fence PDX and Entertainment for People, and is working on a collection of short stories about his childhood. In his day jobs, Vin directs and choreographs youth performances in local schools.
"Having the opportunity to step into E.M. Lewis' s words is truly breathtaking. She so eloquently captures her own truth, while simultaneously leading us to confront our own." -Vin Shambry
For 21 years, CoHo Productions has pioneered artist led co-production as a model of creating theatre. Each season, CoHo solicits scripts and project proposals from Portland's community of theatre professionals and selects three to produce in partnership. The artistic vision is democratic, reflecting the tastes of the Portland theatre community from the ground up. Seasons are diverse and unpredictable; the sole quality nurtured and insisted on is excellence.
Shawn Lee (Co-Producer, Director) Shawn recently directed the Northwest Premiere of Bess Wohle's American Hero at Artists Repertory Theatre. He has 20 years of experience producing theatre, including 25 productions as co-founder and co-artistic director with Furious Theatre Company in Los Angeles. He is the recipient of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award, The Back Stage Garland Award, LA Weekly Theatre Award, LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award and the Pasadena Arts Council's Gold Crown Award. He is a co-creator of foundfootage.net with Matt Palfrey (MTV Skins) and has directed multiple episodes of the web-series AGANG. Shawn is the Artistic Producer at Artists Repertory Theatre, producing 20 shows to date, as well as coordinating and producing shows for Profile Theatre, Portland Shakespeare Project, Risk/Reward, Hand2Mouth, Tiempo Libre concerts, Corrib Theatre, Phame, and many other solo projects.
Nate Cohen (Co-Producer, Gun Talk Facilitator) Nate is a Portland, Oregon based director, teacher and actor. He is currently a Company Member at Theatre Vertigo, sits on the board of the Portland Area Theatre Alliance, and has worked in various capacities with companies such as Artists Repertory Theatre, the Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble, Third Rail Repertory Theatre, CoHo Productions, Action/Adventure and Theatre Vertigo where he is an ensemble member and resident director. He also directed the world premieres of KCACTF award-winning Middle Names and Alone in a Taxicab in a Snowy Foreign Country at Three in the Morning.
As a teacher, Nate has worked as a teaching artist in more than a dozen public schools in and around Portland, as well as the Oregon Children's Theatre, and he is currently the head teacher of Isinglass/Artists Repertory Theatre's esteemed Egg summer theatre leadership academy. He specializes in teaching directing, devised performance, theatre history, and the use of art as social commentary. He has also taught numerous workshops on audience development, play production, and community engagement.