Gustavus Brings the Tragedy of columbinus to Anderson Theatre

Posted on October 19th, 2007 by

With an eye to history as well as more recent events at Virginia Tech and in our own region, the Gustavus Adolphus College Department of Theatre and Dance will present columbinus in Anderson Theatre, October 25 – 28. Written by Stephen Karam and PJ Paparelli, and directed by Assistant Professor Theatre and Dance Henry MacCarthy, columbinus is based on the events leading up to, and including, the tragedy at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado on April 20, 1999.

Described as a “theatrical discussion” by the playwrights, columbinus presents a snapshot of American youth culture. Combining original interviews and conversations with teens across the country and transcripts of videos and journals from survivors and victims of the Columbine shootings, while dissecting the cultural pathologies that might have led to the tragedy, columbinus is a testament to the relevance of the contemporary theatre and an urgent call for self-reflectivity and dialogue.

columbinus is painful and traumatic. It is as emotionally powerful as it is exhausting. Throughout the play, Karam and Paparelli expose the culture and interaction of American youth and the emotions and psyche of the two young men and their victims. The writers force a discussion of how we treat each other and why we do so within the context of the statement that “no one should ever feel this alone again.”

Performances of columbinus will be held in the Evan and Evelyn Anderson Theatre, located in the Schaefer Fine Arts Center, at 8 p.m. on Oct. 25-27 and at 2 p.m. on Oct. 28. Tickets for the play are on sale now through the Student Activities Office (507/933-7590). Prices are $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and non-Gustavus students, and free for Gustavus students and employees.


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