2010 School Board Shooting Becomes Theater Production


PANAMA CITY Three years ago almost to the day, 56 year old Clay Duke walked into a Bay County School Board meeting and pulled out a gun, and began shooting at Board Members.

District Security Chief Mike Jones returned fire and Duke wound up killing himself.

It may not sound like the inspiration for a dance/musical, but that's exactly what's happened in Seattle.

"The Clay Duke" is an experimental production based on the 2010 Bay County School Board meeting.

Seattle choreographer Dayna Hanson got the idea for the work, after seeing video of the shooting on the internet.

Bill Husfelt says, "I mean I don't see how this could be a musical. I don't see how the tragedy of someone that was sick, coming into a board meeting and trying to kill us and killing himself can be a musical. I mean, I don't get it."

School Board Member Steve Moss elaborates, "Even though he might've had evil and bad intentions, at the end of the day, there was a life lost here in this room so that being said, that definitely puts a negative spin I think of any type of musical of all things you would come up with."

Several of the school board members have had a hard time trying to move past the shooting that nearly claimed their lives.

School Board Member Ginger Littleton explains, "I tried early on not to keep reliving it. It took a while."

Now bullet holes in the desks and walls won't be the only reminder of what happened that day.

Even Hanson admits, "I think it's kind of outrageous that we would try to make a piece out of this."

But Littleton, the woman who tried to disarm Duke with her purse, shares a surprisingly different opinion.

Littleton says, "I think it's phenomenal. As resilient as we are, to take what was pretty much a horrible event and turn it into a positive, I think that's the beauty of humanity."

"The Clay Duke" opened last night at theater called "On The Board".

The troupe will perform it 3 more times this weekend.


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