Machine Gun America
Machine Gun America is a theater piece that premiered at the New York International Fringe Festival in August 2016. Produced by Frack Theatre and penned by award-winning writer Joseph Huff-Hannon, the play features songs by Huff-Hannon and Oscar Lopez, and original music by John Turner. It takes its title from an actual gun-toting, family-friendly amusement park in Florida, just a few miles up the road from Disney World. With a script inspired by unbelievable but real stories from across the United States, and original music cheekily extolling the virtues of the Second Amendment, the play remixes fact with fiction to create an unnerving portrait of American gun culture run amok. It’s a theatrical landscape where star-crossed lovers tangle with well-armed toddlers and a dangerously depressed gun safety mascot, where support groups have sprouted for “young shooters” and paranoid speeches by NRA leader Wayne LaPierre have been refashioned into upbeat musical numbers. A web of provocative characters and plot twists, interspersed with verbatim news reports and video clips, begs the vital question: how did the US become a country with more guns than citizens, where toddlers now shoot hundreds of people every year?
A 2016 grant from the Cultures of Resistance Network supported the production and marketing budget for the play’s Fringe Festival premiere.