Actor’s Rep Examines the Real Reason Behind a Tragic Shooting in the Play
columbinus (lowercase intended) is a documentary drama that probes the psychological warfare of alienation, hostility, and social pressure that goes on in high schools across America. It was sparked by the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Jefferson County, Colorado.
The first act of the play is set in a stereotypical, fictional American high school and follows the lives and struggles of eight teenage archetypes.
These characters are not given names but labels, and the two outcast friends designated in the script as Freak and Loner are slowly driven to crime and madness by the bullying from their classmates.
In Act 2, these boys become Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, in scenes taken from their actual videos and personal journals, illustrating the days approaching and including the shootings and the suspects’ suicides. The other cast members become survivors, victims, and townspeople who reflect on the events.
A talk back with the actors will follow each performance.
Artists with the United States Theatre Project conducted exhaustive interviews and research in order to create the two-part piece that first sets up a fictional but realistic world of adolescence that could be anywhere in America, and then morphs into the factual events leading directly to the school shootings at Columbine. Ultimately, columbinus asks more than just “Why?”, but perhaps more importantly, “Why do people treat each other the way we do?columbinus is a fascinating and heartbreaking examination of human behavior.
Directed by Bob Carter, the cast, all local high school students who are studying acting, includes: Parker Wall, Jupiter, as Dylan Klebold; Bennett Morgan, as Eric Harris, Gulf Stream; Emma Sue Harris, as Rebel, Lake Worth; Taylor Blount, West Palm Beach, as Perfect; Ian Rush, Palm Beach Gardens, as AP; Juliana Hemela, West Palm Beach, as Faith; Christopher King, Port St. Lucie, as Jock and Sean Macdonald; Riviera Beach, as Prep..
“An unnerving study in adolescent angst, columbinus relentlessly paints a bold picture that bears witnessing … it merge the facts of the Columbine massacre with a harrowing impression of what life is like in high schools today. “ —Star-Ledger
. “Mr. Karam and Mr. Paparelli have captured authentic notes of adolescent anxiety and yearning in briskly drawn scenes.” —New York Times
“A powerful and important piece about the churning rage that’s all too likely to bubble over again one day.” —New York Post
“This one comes right from the gut … highly theatrical and deeply disturbing.” —Variety