MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Manuel Oliver lost his son Joaquin in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas massacre.
Now, he’s created a theatre show to make sure his son’s memory lives on.
“He was surrounded by flowers, love, music, his family, and he was the most amazing person I have ever met,” Oliver tells the audience.
Oliver is bringing Joaquin’s life and lessons to the stage in the one man show, “Guac: My Son, My Hero.”
Guac is what Joaquin’s friends called him.
“Every 15 minutes a mother, a father, a wife, a husband suffer like we are suffering right now,” he said.
Oliver uses art, music, and dance to get his message out.
“This is entertaining activism. In other words, you going to be probably having fun. At the same time, you’re going to feel very affected, sad, probably you’re going to cry, everything in one hour and twenty,” Oliver said.
Oliver said the show sends a strong message for gun reform.
“I don’t believe in the traditional ways of fighting back gun violence. They haven’t been working for the last 20 or more years,” he said. “So, we added the soul of Joaquin, his relationship with art and music. And the play comes as a perfect option for that.”
He shares letters and pictures from Joaquin, who was already a young activist, fighting against gun violence.
“He decided to take a picture of himself behind that piece of art that is showing assault weapons pointing at the floor encrusted with rocks with blood over it,” said Oliver. “He wanted to be there to send a message.”
Proceeds from the performances go to Oliver’s advocacy group, ‘Change the Ref,’ to raise awareness about gun violence.
As the show tours the country, there are strategic stops planned for key swing states before the election.
“Next year we have an election, it’s 2020, it’s a crucial time for our nation and we just want to bring our point, which is more than a political point of view, it’s about saving lives,” Oliver said. “It’s about protecting our kids, our wives, our husbands.”
“Guac: My Son, My Hero” begins its national tour here in South Florida on September 20th at the Colony Theatre in Miami Beach.
Tickets are on sale now and it goes until November of 2020.