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The Events

Written by David Greig
Directed by Susannah Martin

Photos by Jamie Lyons + Jessica Palipoli
Trailer by Peter Ruocco

Presented by Shotgun Players
May 4 – June 4, 2017

KQED “By the end of David Greig’s The Events under Susannah Martin’s superb direction… I wondered about just what kind of achievement I had witnessed…In the age of President Donald Trump and an ascendant and revolutionary right, here was a full-throated liberal plea for a different world and most definitely a different theater…Martin’s direction possesses an electric clarity that keeps us focused on what’s best in Greig’s script.” – John Wilkins

THE MERCURY NEWS “Director Susannah Martin’s staging is finely nuanced and intense… it’s a powerful exploration of the strange journeys that surviving unspeakable horror can take a thoughtful person on.” – Sam Hurwitt

SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER “The play… under Susannah Martin’s assured direction….rolls out non-linearly with a wonderfully uncompromising Julia McNeal as a fiery and vulnerable Claire, and Caleb Cabrera as not only the youthful shooter but also a clergyperson, a psychotherapist, a politician, Claire’s lesbian lover and other characters that Claire seeks out in her desperate attempt at understanding… The Events feels unnervingly, dangerously, immediate.” – Jean Schiffman

Director’s Note

“I don’t want to understand what happened to me.
I know what happened to me.
I want to understand what happened to him.”

This play is a mystery; a mystery that our protagonist, Claire, spends the play trying to unravel: why? Why did The Boy do it? What or who shaped him? What motivated him? What box can we put him in so that we can stop this from ever happening again? How can we stamp this evil out?

Every time events like these happen, I ask the questions Claire asks. I find very few answers, feel hopeless, and stop my search. Another event happens, the same cycle repeats. These days, it is easy to wander the world in a state of perpetual grief, asking why. There is so much we don’t know about each other. Who shaped us? What motivates us and drives us to do the things we do? Even in – especially in – our “connected” world, is it possible to find any understanding of someone else?

In these strange times, I am grateful for a play like this – a play that is both salt in the wound and a balm to the soul. I am grateful that the play asks the questions that it asks us, and sends us, with Claire, on a search for clarity and understanding. It pushes us to embrace our darkness in order to find the light within the abyss. It invites us to sit with, even sing with, strangers and commune and communicate in the midst of our difference. The play provides no easy answers, no box to put people in. And yet, it shows that rebirth is possible even though evil is – and will always be – in the world.

I am eternally grateful to Shotgun for producing this play. I am grateful to Shotgun for providing a space – and many communities – for us to sit with and bear witness to the mystery.

Claire / Julia McNeal*
The Boy / Caleb Cabrera

*Member of AEA

Founding Artistic Director / Patrick Dooley
Assistant Director + Choir Captain / Brady Brophy-Hilton
Assistant Lighting Designer / Joey Postil
Assistant Music Director / Daniel Alley
Choreographer / Shaunna Vella
Costume Design / Alice Ruiz
Dramaturg + Production Assistant / Leigh Rondon-Davis
Fight Director / Dave Maier
Lighting Design / Wolfgang Lancelot Wachalovsky
Master Electrician / Molly Stewart-Cohn
Music Coordinator / David Möschler
Music Director / Lisa Quoresimo
Production Assistant / Kieran Beccia
Scenic + Properties Design / Angrette McCloskey
Sound Design / Jake Rodriguez
Stage Manager / James McGregor
Technical Director / Chris Swartzell