SECOND AMENDMENT CLUB
nytheatre.com review by April Nugent
In the play, Second Amendment Club, playwright Peter Morris has
turned to current events, such as the shootings at Lake Worth Middle
School, Granite Hills High School and Columbine High School, to find his
subject matter. He brings to the stage an engaging, thought-provoking
and sometimes offensive work centered on an arrogant, anti-social,
racist, sexist, homophobic, self-hating, spoiled, suburbanite teenager
who feels he’s been gypped by the world. Resolving to "bring order and
discipline" to his life, Martin (Teen for short) has destroyed all of
his childhood belongings and siloed himself in a small room above his
parents’ garage. It is in this environment that he feels free to vent
his teenaged angst, hatred and anger through his web-site, and where he
ultimately devises his plan to seek revenge on the establishment and
those individuals who, in his opinion, have wronged him and held him
back. The playwright asks the audience to sympathize with a character
that most of us would find deplorable and villainous. And we do
sympathize. Much of the credit for this accomplishment must be shared
with solo performer Ryan Harrison. Harrison’s charming, bright and
articulate performance leaves us identifying with Teen.
August 15, 2002
Second Amendment Club is performed at Collective Unconscious, a small black-box theatre crammed with 50 seats. The close quarters and lack of air-conditioning only add to the awareness that Martin’s ramblings, though true to character, tend to be repetitive and long-winded at times. The play is billed as multi-media but, due to technical difficulties, the performance I saw was sans video and computer elements. While I wonder what these elements would have added, the script and the performance are strong enough to stand without them.
Morris, Harrison and Wave Productions should be commended for their bravery in taking on such volatile subject matter, while honestly depicting a character who is so abrasive. The result is a powerful, unflinching look at an American sore-spot that will send you away with a new perspective.