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Third Rail Presents An Encore Of #ENOUGH For The Office Of Violence Prevention

#ENOUGH: Plays to End Gun Violence is a national short play competition for middle and high school students.

Following Third Rail's participation in the nationwide reading of #ENOUGH: Plays to End Gun Violence on December 14, 2020, Nike Greene, who worked with Third Rail as a cultural facilitator on the project, invited the company to present another online reading of the plays for community stakeholders who regularly meet with the Office of Violence Prevention (where Greene is director) to work for increased public safety and racial equity. This encore reading and discussion will be on Friday, March 5 at 10:00am.

#ENOUGH: Plays to End Gun Violence is a national short play competition for middle and high school students. On December 14, 2020-the 8-year remembrance of the shootings at Sandy Hook-the winning titles were performed at Third Rail and over 48 other theatres and schools across the country and abroad.


A panel of nationally-recognized dramatists-Lauren Gunderson, Academy Award winner Tarell Alvin McCraney, Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Schenkkan, Tony Award winner David Henry Hwang, and Karen Zacarías-selected the plays out of 184 submissions from twenty-three states and three countries in #ENOUGH's call for teens to write 10-minute plays that confront the issue of gun violence.


The plays-all written by high school students-tackle gun violence through different lenses, including the threat of and anxiety over school shootings, police shootings, community violence, race, and gun culture in American history.


#ENOUGH made the plays available for free to schools, theatres, and community organizations to stage a reading, either virtually or in-person where possible, and follow that reading with a post-show discussion on gun violence that's specific to their community. The nationwide reading had a powerful impact on audiences with its brave, honest portrayals of the effects of gun violence written by young people who feel them everyday. Nike Greene saw an opportunity to broaden this impact and turn it to action, and arranged the encore reading and discussion in collaboration with Kelsea Ashenbrenner, Lead Artist for Third Rail's #ENOUGH participation. #ENOUGH producer Michael Cotey granted permission for the encore reading, and Third Rail is honored to offer theatre as a tool for social change in front of an audience of community members dedicated to ending gun violence in Portland.

The audience for this reading will include the Interfaith Peace and Action Collaborative and the Community Peace Collaborative. The Interfaith Peace and Action Collaborative (IPAC) is a group of clergy, community members, business representatives, and police who strive to work together to bring safety to the city streets and improve the criminal justice system. The Office of Violence Prevention hosts a biweekly public forum called the Community Peace Collaborative (CPC). This forum is open to all who want to engage in community efforts to increase communication and coordinate resources and expertise to reduce the many forms of violence and crime.

The public is also welcome to attend the reading and discussion by emailing boxoffice@thirdrailrep.org for a free reservation.

"As someone who was a student during a school shooting, this campaign is important and personal for me," says Kelsea Ashenbrenner. "That day changed my life forever. Thankfully, no one was killed, but the effects of that day continue to come up in my life and the lives of those that were with me. I have always been passionate about the issue of gun violence in schools and in our larger community. Theatre as activism, I've found, is a very effective way to create positive changes in our local communities. I'm so grateful for the connection Third Rail has made with Nike Greene and for the Office of Violence Prevention's invitation and support in sharing this encore reading with you all."

Third Rail's reading is directed and performed by Core Company Members, Mentorship Company Alumni, and Guest Artists. Nike Greene has been working with Third Rail to discuss best practices for approaching this content in rehearsals and post-show discussions, especially in acknowledging the intersectionality of race and gun violence. In October 2020 Greene was quoted in The Oregonian/OregonLive about the ongoing trauma of gun violence in Portland's Black community amid the coronavirus and political unrest: "When will the data be enough for us to pay attention?" Greene asked.

Tickets for Third Rail's reading and post-show discussion are free, but audience members are encouraged to make donations to Don't Shoot PDX and the Soul Box Project to support their work in ending gun violence in our local community. To RSVP for a free ticket, email boxoffice@thirdrailrep.org.

More details on all seven winning playwrights, including bios and headshots, and their plays, can be found online here.


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