Louisiana High School delivers emotional performance

Charlotte Guedry
“Bang, Bang. You’re Dead” delves into the world of bullying and violence in an American high school. In this scene, Michael, played by Jude Graham (left), and fellow castmates,look on after asking Josh, played by?Trey Bourgeois (right), why he felt the need to kill him.

Recently, the theatre department at Dutchtown High?School performed a play with a tone that can easily be recognized in the lives of many?American school children.

“Bang, Bang. You’re Dead,” is a one act play written by William Mastrosimone.?The purpose of the play is to reach out to students as it highlights the effects of bullying and school violence.

The main character, a high school student named Josh, played by Trey Bourgeois, kills his parents, sister, and five classmates, after feeling that he is being tormented by them all. The play delves into news making school shootings such as Columbine and Thurston High Schools.

Mastrosimone’s hopes for the play were that schools would be able to perform them cheaply, and that sets and costumes would be accessible and affordable to all school budgets.

Dutchtown High School students convened in the cafeteria, and as the curtains came up, it was soon clear that this would be a play with an important message.

Although Ascension has not seen a school shooting, bullying is a nationwide concern. Ascension?schools have worked to combat bullying, and this is yet another way forward.

Cast member Jude Graham feels that the subject matter can be close to the thoughts of many high school students.

“Theatre is reaching out to the depths of the human soul and tugging on every string you can lay your hands on. It's the purest way to talk to a persons soul. This play will hopefully talk to many souls and make a difference. It could make kids realize that one joke could be one too many. It could make kids realize that they are not alone if they are bullied. There is help.”

Bourgeois, the play’s lead agrees.

“Josh's character is the complete opposite of mine so he was my last choice is auditioning for roles. My original part was dad/grandpa but because of some unlikely circumstances, I had to step in and lead Josh's role the week before the play. Josh's character is violent and you can even say "wicked", so I was completely out my comfort zone. But the one thing I want people to get from this play and the one thing that eased me, was knowing that this is reality. As a follower of Christ, I want people to see that because of sin, Josh's character and his situations come to life. I'm praying that this play will shake people to repentance."

Dutchtown High School is no stranger to putting on performances that grab the attention of the community, and theatre teacher,?Shannon Ehrmann is proud of the accomplishments of her band of performers.

“It’s important for messages to be heard in performance,” she said. “These kids have done a great job with some heavy subject matter.”

A full list of players includes: Trey Bourgeois as Josh, Jude Graham as Michael, Deva Cabezon as Katie, Colby?Alston as Matt, Celeste Moody as Jesse, Madelyn Page as Sam, Ashley Alexander as Emily, Tessa Mayon as Brittany, Sara Lessard as Zoe, Brooklyn Wagoner as Taylor, Maci Walton as Caroline, Olivia Frederic as Leah, Heather Delaune as Betrice, Andrea Lyons as the Principle, Camille DeJean as the Public Defender, Emma Pursiful as the Jury Foreman, Jasmine Everfield as the Prosecutor, Andre’ Jones as the Judge and Grandpa, Casey?Cannon as the Mom, James Clark as the Cellmate, Alec Guillot as the Cellmate, Gabe Baker as the Detective, and Grace Myhand as the Psychotherapist.

For many of Dutchtown High?School’s theatre department, the stage is where they feel their most comfortable. They can highlights the fears and worries of a nation of school children by taking on the gritty roles of their peers. They can bring the ideas of the stage into the hearts and minds of their fellow students.

Perhaps Graham sums it up best when he says, “I think sometimes parents and teachers think we’re only concerned with cars or clothes or making sure we have the best phones, but that’s not true.?We watch the news and see what goes on in the world. I think we’re all just hoping we can be a type of outlet for people to cope with that.”