Gloria by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins includes: mass gun violence, loud sounds, and suicide.
SPOILER ALERT: See the video below from Fight Director Jonathan Cole regarding our approach to staged violence and the props utilized in the production.
Hi, I’m Jonathan Cole, the Fight Director for Profile’s production of “Gloria”. We wanted to give you a little bit of information about the way we’re approaching the violence in our production.
I’ll start with a trauma cue. In this video, I’ll be mentioning specifics in staging gun violence and specifically a suicide. I’ll also be handling and firing a replica firearm.
Now, a little bit about me. I’m a fight Director, Certified Teacher, and Theatrical Firearms Safety Instructor with the Society of American Fight Directors.
I’ve been choreographing simulated violence for 29 years and have amassed hundreds of hours of training in all matter of best practices including as a specialty, extreme contemporary violence and gun play.
The script calls for a combination of shots fired on and offstage.
Where live fire on set is called for, the actor will use a gas-blowback replica firearm which cannot chamber or fire live ammunition.
The moments in which the replica gun is used on stage, will be set so that at no time will the replica pointed at an actor, nor at the audience, nor backstage personnel.
All gun shots on stage will be set up offline and out of distance and will make use of our proscenium space to create the illusion that one actor is actually pointing the gun at another human while maintaining strict safety protocols.
For the suicide shot in the production, the actor will perform an onstage switch from the replica firearm to a completely inert plastic non-gun to allow them to point the prop at themselves safely.
Further protocols we use Ensure that there is a strict chain of custody at all times of the replica firearm.
For each performance It will be in a locked case backstage.
Then carried to the actor by a production assistant Just before the actor’s cue to enter the scene.
The actor will then perform a safety check with the replica firearm with Both the actor and the production assistant confirming That it functions as expected and that the barrel of the prop is clear.
The actor will enter and perform the action onstage then will be met by the production assistant at their point of exit from the playing space. The PA will then take possession of all firearms props and will return them to locked storage until the end of the night, when they will be inspected and readied for the next performance.
I am now going to show you and fire the type of replica firearm we are using, which cannot chamber or fire live ammunition. And here is the prop. A 1:1 replica of the ubiquitous Glock 17. When the shots are fired on stage, you’ll hear an amazing sound design from Matt (Wiens) as the shots are fired thus. (Fire fire)
I’ll point it at this piece of paper at point-blank range and repeat those shots again. (Fire fire) As you can see there is a light puff of air that exits the muzzle and that’s the only spill we get from this particular prop.
And this is an example of a non-gun. Obviously the one we’ll use in production will be painted black. But as you can see it is a cast piece of plastic with no openings or apertures anywhere.
And that’s really all I have for you. Thank you so much for your time and your attention. I hope you’re all as excited to see this production as we are to work on it.