Illustration by Maya James

cast and crew

Before the Shooting

By Denise Miller


Content Warning: This play features details regarding mass shootings, including dialogue about guns, abuse, and loss of human life.

Before the Shooting is a new piece developed for stage by Denise Miller and Connar Klock adapted from Miller’s poetry collection How to Make an American Mass Shooter, which examines societal gender roles and the part they play in acts of mass gun violence. We have an epidemic of mass shootings in the United States. It is perpetrated mostly by white boys and white men. We have an epidemic of toxic masculinity and racism in the United States. It is perpetrated by generations of parents reinforcing rigid gender roles and racist ideas on their children and larger society forcing both on each other. 

In what ways do these crises support and condone each other?

Part docudrama, part choreopoem, Before the Shooting runs in tandem between the 24-hour news cycle reporting on the sheer magnitude and where the seeds for that fruit are planted.

This project was funded in part by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs through the Kalamazoo Arts Council.

Performance Dates (2021)

The evening will start with a small acoustic set (at 7:30 PM) featuring Rebs on the baritone ukulele before we present this one act play.

  • December 9 at 7:30 PM
  • December 10 at 7:30 PM
  • December 11 at 7:30 PM

There will be a talkback following each performance of Before the Shooting with the playwright, director, and cast.


Dormouse Theatre
1030 Portage Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49001


Proof of vaccination is required for all Queer Theatre Kalamazoo events. Masks must be worn over the mouth and nose in any indoor space. Our actors can present this play unmasked due to these efforts. Thank you for helping keep the community safe and performing live again.

© 2021 Queer Theatre, Inc. 
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