poster for The Gun Show


The UAlbany Performing Arts Center, operating under the auspices of the College of Arts and Sciences, is pleased to present The Gun Show, a play which takes aim at America’s most dangerous past-time,on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at 7:30pm.  Leaning neither right nor left, the play jumps into the middle of the gun control debate and asks “Can we have a conversation about this?” 

Written by E. M. Lewis, the show takes audiences from a farming community in rural Oregon to the big cities of Los Angeles and New York, illuminating the playwright’s own relationship with firearms. It is an intimate long-term one with the gun as an implement of recreation and protection as well as a tool of threat and disaster. Lewis’s script comprises five true gun stories from her life that cover as many sides of the issue. Actor Christopher Smith shares Ms. Lewis’s unique perspective and stories as if they were his own, with brutal honesty and poignant humor.

“Like a lot of people, I’ve had a variety of experiences with guns and am conflicted about guns,” said Lewis in a Portland Monthly interview. “This is not a far right or a far left play. This is a grappling with guns in American society, and trying to figure out if there’s some way to come to terms with their presence, or some way in which we can make them a little bit more safe for us.”

The Gun Show doesn’t take sides. It’s fair and aims to get people to talk to one another,” says director Robert Jordan. “It grapples with the place that guns have in our society. Is there some way to come to terms with their presence? How can we make them a bit safer? It’s not an all-or-nothing proposition, it’s an open and ongoing discussion.”

"Whatever line there is between life and art completely blurs, and we ourselves are witness to something far more than theater," claims DC Metro Theatre Arts about the play.  "It leaves us with the lesson that what’s complicated always has personal context and cannot be abstracted apart from individual lived lives. As such truthful storytelling about complexity goes, The Gun Show sets a brave example, with a terrific script brilliantly played."

Portland Mercury says, "The Gun Show plays with expectations and preconceptions while attempting to think about guns in a way that goes beyond the current political debate. It asks the audience to consider, or reconsider, their positions on guns. And when the play ends, it asks them to talk about it."  Thus, a post-show conversation between the audience and the artists is planned to take place at the conclusion of the play.

The performance is made possible with support from the University at Albany Foundation, Office of Intercultural Student Engagement and University Auxiliary Services.

Advance tickets are $15 for the general public and $10 for students, seniors and UAlbany faculty-staff.  Tickets purchased on the day of the show (pending availability) are $20 for the general public and $15 for students, seniors and UAlbany faculty-staff.  For reservations and further information, contact the Box Office at (518) 442-3997.

There will also be a special morning matinee performance of The Gun Show for high school groups at 10am on Thursday, March 28, 2019. This performance is sold out but educators are invited to sign up for the waiting list by contacting the UAlbany Performing Arts Center office at (518) 442-5738 or