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gUnTOPIA at The Roustabouts Theatre Co
March 16 @ 8:00 pm - April 2 @ 2:00 pm$45
The Roustabouts Theatre Co. in March of 2020 was to launch the World Premiere of Will Cooper’s gUnTOPIA. Unfortunately, the production was shut down on its opening night due to Covid. Three years later, The Roustabouts are bringing back this important piece of theatre that was never seen by an audience. Roustabouts artistic director, producer and founding member Phil Johnson, who plays Harry Nelson in the play, guarantees that gUnTOPIA will present audiences with a “challenging and provocative experience.” Many performances will be accompanied by talkbacks or panel discussions with the artists and with experts (academicians, politicians, activists, and community leaders) on the societal impact of gun violence in America.
This dark comedy takes aim at these controversial issues. “It was important for us to tackle this issue because gun violence impacts the majority of Americans at some point in their lives,” says Johnson. According to the Small Arms Survey there are currently more civilian-held guns than there are people in the United States, with the second-highest developed nation having fewer than half that rate of guns per capita. Our country has 46% of the world’s civilian-held guns. As a result. America far and away leads other developed nations in gun-related homicides. Playwright Will Cooper says, “gUnTOPIA is a satire about a world where guns have become objects of religious devotion, a world a little like ours.”
Cooper’s world premiere, gUnTOPIA introduces audiences to a Leave It to Beaver-style America where gun ownership is universal and shooting deaths are no more bothersome than a parking ticket. A child is shot and no one seems to care. It’s totally normal. The notion is absurd – or is it?
The play is meant to provoke thought, start conversations, and engage audiences. Some pieces, however, push the envelope just a bit further….
This theatrical experience will make audiences laugh — and squirm — at this hilariously disturbing world where every man, woman, and child is locked and loaded. A biting new satire, gUnTopia will leave audiences with a great deal to talk about long after the show ends. Not to be missed.
Rosina Reynolds & Kate Rose Reynolds (a mother/daughter team from the show IRON) co-directs Phil Johnson,* Katie Karel,* Walter Murray, Veronica Burgess, Elena Bertacchi, Eban Rosenzweig. Maya Aizenman is the stage manager. The design team includes Tony Cucuzzella (Set Design), Michelle Miles (Lighting Design), Pamela Stompoly-Ericson (Costume Design), Jon Fredette (Sound Design), Alyssa Kane (Props), and Dan Cheathem (Armorer).
To find the list of speakers and dates of talkbacks, go to the website theroustabouts.org/press.
gUnTOPIA performances will take place at MOXIE Theatre at 6663 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego 92115. Performances begin Thursday, March 16, at 8pm and continue on Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm. Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Opening Night is on Friday, March 17, at 7:30pm. The closing performance is on April 2, 2023. (The ticket price is $45 and can be purchased online at www.theroustabouts.org. *Please be aware that due to subject matter, some material may be inappropriate for children under the age of 13.