Local Columbine musical explores belief in God
Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 28, 2013 23:02
National conversations about school shootings and gun control are ongoing. Middletown Christian School will be addressing this sensitive, yet pertinent topic in the form of a play portraying the shootings that occurred at Columbine High School in April 1999.
“It’s Not Too Late” is a play about the day of the Columbine shooting. The story follows Cassie Bernall, a Columbine High School student who was killed and known for her faith in God, according to co-director Hillary Young.
Young said a local citizen from the Columbine community wrote the play, which focuses on choices people have to make in their daily lives.
“[Students] all have to face some sort of choice in their life and it just has to relate to the students in that you’ll have a good influence and a bad influence,” Young said. “[The play] doesn’t surround the shooting necessarily, just a part of what happened that day.”
Young said there will only be one scene portraying the shooting and they will use red lighting to symbolize the bloodshed.
“We have them simply walk out on the stage and lie down and that’s them dying,” she said. “The shooter will come out in all black and he has a gun and that’s as graphic as it gets. Then he lays down and dies. It is very moving.”
The play will also include a 911 tape and a newscast from the shooting, both which were found on YouTube, according to Young.
“We tried to choose some that weren’t as specific or as detailed and didn’t show a lot of specifics,” she said.
Although the play is primarily about students’ choices about their faith, Young said she understands it is a controversial topic. However, she said the play is about ‘God’s amazing grace’ in the midst of a tragedy, not the shooting.
In light of other shootings, such as Sandy Hook in Newtown, Young said some students asked if they were still going to continue with the play, but she said it is an important thing to do.
“We haven’t had any backlash as of yet,” Young said. “I’m not naïve to think we might not have some but I just think it’s something we felt kind of we should do.”
Some Miami University students said they believe it is still acceptable for the school to continue with the play, despite the controversial aspect.
“I think it’s important we can look at things like that from a mature perspective,” senior Michael O’Connell said. “It’s something that happens and I think a play like that can take something like that and look at it from the aspects that aren’t focused on the shooting but the people themselves.”
First-year Jenna Mengle agreed and said the play may be controversial but they should be free to perform. She said the students at school should be able to express their religious beliefs freely.
“You can choose to go or not so it’s not like anyone is forced to watch the play,” she said. “I think it’s okay.”
Other students, like senior Paul Hinrichs, said he understands why the school would put on a play that tests students’ faith, even though it is expressed through an extreme circumstance. However, in light of other recent school shootings he said he thinks the school should be careful in what they choose to produce and be prepared for some sort of backlash.
“Definitely it’s good to put on display that people’s faith can be tested but at the same time it’s a really really sensitive issue,” Hinrichs said. “At the very least you definitely want to be careful on how you walk that line.”
The cast has added the song Amazing Grace and a Power Point presentation about students that lost their lives at the end of the play that was not in the original script, according to Young.
The play will be 7 p.m. March 1 and 2 at the Middletown Christian School and tickets can be purchased at the door. Tickets are $4 for students, $5 for seniors and adults are $6.