Plot[ edit ] columbinus includes excerpts from discussions with parents, survivors and community leaders in Littleton as well as diaries and home video footage to reveal what it refers to as "the dark recesses of American adolescence". 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. The newly added act three has the other cast members become survivors and townspeople who reflect on the events, including the cover up of information surrounding the suspects. The play briefly touches on modern shootings such as the incidents at Aurora or Newtown.
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Fourth St. Preening at one of the choicest tables is the popular blonde. Listen as she giggles at the antics of the handsome, lug-headed jock.
Watch him snigger while a friend throws food at the nerd across the way. Wince as the nerd suffers in silence, while assorted other misfits — the drama geek, the stoner — look on with a mixture of pity and relief.
Ah, those were the days! The grim ecosphere of the average American high school is analyzed with sympathy and precision in "columbinus," a new play that aims to expose the cultural and personal pathologies that gave rise to the horrific events in Littleton, Colo. Paparelli, the play exudes earnestness — and a measure of self-importance, in truth — as it presents an anonymous portrait of high school life, with all its anxiety and sweaty unease, in the fictionalized first act, before focusing in detail on the grisly events at Columbine in the second.
But Mr. Karam and Mr. Paparelli could have saved on the travel budget by giving me a call. Or you, maybe. The interaction among the types presented here will probably accord cleanly with the memories of anyone who attended a suburban American high school in the last few decades.
Image Will Rogers, on the floor, and Karl Miller as murderous high school students in "columbinus. Below these immortals, and treated by them with casual arrogance, cruelty or pity, are an array of fringy types: the brain identified as AP James Flanagan ; a friendly, open-faced girl of firm religious beliefs, called Faith Nicole Lowrance ; the Rebel Carmen M.
Herhily with a purple streak in her hair. Skulking off to the side are the two unquiet souls who, the play suggests, will be most dangerously warped by the agonies of social interaction in the teenage years. Paparelli have captured authentic notes of adolescent anxiety and yearning in briskly drawn scenes set in and around the classroom, the gym and the cafeteria.
The dialogue is occasionally enlivened by a sharp jab of wit. How do I describe it? The actors, uniformly excellent, are at all times engaging — even when they are playing the nasty characters — but only the lucky few in the audience who glided through adolescence on a cloud of bliss will find this stark analysis of the teenage rat race a revelation.
Similar material has been used as fodder for movies and television shows of various genres and styles, everything from "Carrie" to "Sixteen Candles. Miller, tensely febrile, and Mr. Rogers, gangly and anxious, play the deeply troubled Harris and Klebold. Much of the dialogue in this act is drawn directly from their video or paper journals or from interviews Harris and Klebold gave to counselors in the months and years before the shootings, when they began dabbling in petty crime and stockpiling weapons for their massacre.
Image Members of the cast as students dressing for school in the opening of "columbinus. And when the focus shrinks to the actual killings, and the dialogue is drawn from the testimony of the survivors of the rampage, the play becomes more upsetting still.
As you sit grimly listening to the actual call made by a terrified teacher from the school library, where most of the killings occurred, or listen to the actors describe in chilling detail the violent deaths of a dozen teenagers, you may begin to question whether the aesthetic or intellectual rewards of this enterprise are sufficient to justify the use of intimate details about the suffering and deaths of real people.
Paparelli, who has staged both acts of the play with a keen theatrical sense, has said that "columbinus" is meant to be a "theatrical discussion," but the Columbine horror has of course been discussed at length in journalistic forums, and Mr.
The phenomenon we confront in these little monsters, it seems to me, is one that neither journalism nor theater can analyze with satisfaction. Better to leave that one to philosophers. Through June Running time: 2 hours.
'columbinus': Exploring the Evil That Roams a High School's Halls
Views Read Edit View history. AmazonGlobal Ship Orders Internationally. The words of Harris and Klebold, as well as court records, statements of Columbine witnesses and interviews with high school students scrilt the country are incorporated into the proceedings. English Choose a language for shopping. Death of a Salesman Penguin Plays.
Where can I find the online script for the play columbinus?