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Old Globe’s ‘The Blameless’ Brings Together The Families Of A Shooter and His Victim

Old Globe's "The Blameless" Brings Together The Families Of A Shooter and His Victim


Nick Gandiello, playwright, "The Blameless"

Photo credit: The Old Globe

A poster for "The Blameless" at The Old Globe.

A new play at The Old Globe questions the limits of forgiveness in the face of tragedy.

"The Blameless" tells the story of the Garcias, whose son is shot and killed, as they welcome his killer's father to their home for dinner. Playwright Nick Gandiello had been trying to write a play about gun violence for several years, but found his attempts were either overly sentimental or seemed to glorify violence.

"When I was making the mystery too much about the actual act of violence, I felt that then what the audience looks forward to is knowledge about violence. They crave an image of violence. That’s the wrong direction for me," Gandiello said. "And grief sucks, it’s awful. A lot of people who will come see the play know that. I don’t think we need a reminder that grief sucks. It can be unwatchable to see people suffer."

Gandiello was helped by a news photo of the father of a gunman embracing the father of one of his victims. He decided he wanted his play to include that image of acceptance.

"They had agreed to meet," he said. "And there was someone across the street taking pictures of them. It really nagged at me in some way, our collective eavesdropping on these situations."

"The Blameless," which was developed at The Old Globe's Powers New Voices Festival last year, runs through March 26.

Gandiello joined KPBS Midday Edition on Wednesday to discuss why he decided to write "The Blameless" partially as a comedy and how he depicts grief onstage.


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