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Father of Parkland shooting victim bringing one-man play to Charlotte

"As a father, you are here to teach your kids," Manuel Oliver said. "But sometimes life challenges you." His son was one of 17 killed in Parkland, Florida.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Nearly two years ago, Manuel Oliver lost his son Joaquin Oliver at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. Joaquin, who friends called 'Guac,' was killed outside of his creative writing class.

Joaquin was one of 17 killed at the Parkland, Florida shooting -- 17 others were injured. 

RELATED: After losing students and colleagues in Parkland shooting, teacher finds healing in writing

"As a father, you are here to teach your kids," Manuel Oliver said. "But sometimes life challenges you."

The parents took everything they knew and loved about their son and channeled it on stage.

"We just share with the audience, the family we are, the family we were," Patricia Oliver, Joaquin's mother, said.

For the Olivers, the grief hasn't gone away. But they hope to start a conversation that could one day prevent a family from feeling the pain they live with. 

The play uses first-person narrative to create an immersive experience including storytelling, painting, video, photography and audience interaction. 

“The perception may be that this will all be sad. It isn’t," Manuel Oliver said in a statement. "There are moments you will laugh, dance, cry and cheer, in the end you will feel a connection with my family that will motivate you to help make a change in our country."

Their show, "GUAC: My Son, My Hero," is now coming to Charlotte as part of the national tour.

The one-night-only show is at The Underground on Hamilton Street on Tuesday, January 14. Tickets are available online.


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