Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga remounts one of its “most shocking productions to date,” Columbinus, by the United States Theatre Project. ETC remounts the show to tour to Alma College in Michigan. However Chattanooga State's Student Government Association and Student Activities Programming Board will make it available to the Chattanooga community, free of charge, on Sept. 23 and 25 in the Humanities Auditorium on the Chattanooga State campus. Show time at 7:30 p.m.
"It's rare that I read a play that sends chills up my spine." mentions ETC's Executive Director Garry Lee Posey. "Columbinus is that play.”
“What I think that scares me so much about it, is that it resonates in a very powerful way with what an emotional morass high school can be," mentions executive staff member and stage manager John Thomas Cecil.
Review for Columbinus:
Act one of the play focuses on eight stereotypes (Jock, Prep, AP, Rebel, Freak, Loner, Perfect and Faith) and a typical day at a typical high school in any town in typical America. Through the act, the audience will see how each stereotype faces their own demons, acts out on their insecurities and feelings and collude with other students. Part fantasy, part general reality, this act lays the foundation for a breeding ground that could easily force any of these eight stereotypes to the breaking point that serves as the primary focus of the second act and the entire reason for the play in the first place, the mass murder /suicide performed by Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris on Columbine High School in the spring of 1999 in Littleton, Co. Actual documentation from journals, video footage, eyewitness testimony and other media are utilized to construct a dramatic narrative that revolves around the fateful day and the events surrounding that tragic incident.
"I believe the playwrights tried to set up the idea that we all have the seeds for violent behavior, that we can be both cruel and vulnerable simultaneously; that we are all capable of such atrocity,” said Mr. Posey. “And that idea frightens me, immensely. Although many have argued that the play might glorify or immortalize Dylan and Eric, the playwrights state that this is not the mission. Being able to empathize with these two kids is important in understanding and prevention."
Mr. Poseys directs. The remount cast finds former cast mates Cody Keown and Jake Waters in new roles, while Savannah Mazda, Casey Keelen, Joel Rievely, Kyle Dagnan, Evie Durant and Sanford Knox join.
Chattanooga State performances are Sept. 23 and 25 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free. The theatre is in the Humanities Building on the main campus. For more information, call 987-5141.
More information about the season, programming, and opportunities can be found by visiting them on the web at www.ensembletheatreofchattanooga.com