The Columbine High School tragedy remains one of the deadliest school massacres in U.S. history. Playwrights Stephen Karam and PJ Paparelli have written a play based on the event that looks at issues of alienation, hostility and social pressure in high schools.
The Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga presents “Columbinus” at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28 in the Remick Heritage Center at Alma College. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors 62 and up, and free for Alma College staff, students and youth 18 and under. Seating is reserved. Call (989) 463-7304 for ticket information.
“Columbinus is a very serious and powerful full-ensemble play based on the Columbine tragedy,” says Mike Sheldon, event coordinator of the Remick Heritage Center. “The Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga is an outstanding professional company that travels across the country and performs high quality shows.”
The play examines the ordeal through two different filters in the lives of stereotypical students in the days leading up to the incident, which resulted in the murder of 13 students and the suicide of two students.
Actual documentation from journals, video footage, eyewitness testimony and other media are used to construct the dramatic narrative, says Sheldon.
The play doesn’t glorify or immortalize the students, nor does it excuse their actions, says Sheldon. Instead the play “tries to strip away the facade of what society would like to believe and expose how society sometimes fails us and creates monsters that destroy us,” according to promotion materials.
The play, intended for a mature audience, contains explicit language and adult situations.