In Caitlin Parrish’s new play THE BURIALS, Steppenwolf for Young Adults has found an informative and moving new play that tackles the realities of gun violence in schools with intensity and heart under the direction of Erica Weiss. Loosely based on the Greek tragedy ANTIGONE, THE BURIALS smartly addresses this topical issue from a personal and human perspective, which will allow school-aged audiences to engage with the material without ever feeling spoon-fed. THE BURIALS follows successful high school senior and social media lover Sophie Martin (the superlative Olivia Cygan), who has her world turned upside down when her younger brother Ben (a haunting Matt Farrabee) opens fire inside her school and kills 16 students and one teacher…using her father’s guns. In the wake of this incident, Sophie, her younger sister Chloe (Becca Savoy) and their father, Ryan Martin (Coburn Goss)—an extremely conservative junior senator running for office—must process the experience under intense scrutiny from the public eye. In the case of Sophie and Chloe, they must also face their high school peers, who have been traumatized and some of whom look to the surviving Martin siblings to blame. When Mr. Martin decides to take a public stance advocating for the mandatory presence of guns in schools as a method of preventing future shootings, Sophie must decide if she will stand by her father—or if she will take a different stance.
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