Meet the absurdly talented Eric Ulloa—director, playwright, and Broadway actor—whose latest play tackles the impossible challenge: how to make violence into a work of art.

In 2012, a troubled 20 year-old named Adam Lanza took the lives of 26 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in a small town in Connecticut. Struck deeply by the tragedy, Eric went on a journey to Newtown to hear the stories of community members. He came out with a story of hope and resilience that surprised even himself. Now, he’s turned that story into a moving play called “26 pebbles.”

“The one thing I didn’t want this to be was the ‘good for you’ theater, or something that was going to exploit these people or what happened there,” Eric told IVY Magazine. “People walk in thinking that it’s a play about 26 dead people in Connecticut. What they come out of it realizing is that it’s a story about a community—a community that could be any community. It’s really just the story of hope.”

Meet Eric and hear his story below! To get in touch and learn about ways to get involved, connect with him on IVY.