James (John Ferrick) has lost his wife in a school shooting, but challenges Wayne’s (John Arthur Lewis) plan to arm local students. His campaign causes son Justin (Andrew Raia) to be a target of school bullying and to seek Wayne’s help. From there, the piece spins out of control, incorporating jarring twists to make its point.
Stephen Carmody’s scenic design cleverly uses an oversized building façade to present the school/youth center at the piece’s controversial core. Andrew Hinderaker’s well-intentioned script deals with compelling questions, but his plot approaches the implausible to answer them. Ferrick and Lewis capably present parents struggling to protect their young; young actors Raia and Nick DiLeonardi capture teen angst and stand out against the muddled narrative and truncated ending. (Lisa Buscani)
Stage Left Theatre at Theater Wit, 1229 West Belmont, (773)975-8150. Through November 21.