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Columbinus Performed to Sold-Out Audiences

March 2011

The St. Ambrose Theater Department mounted a sold-out production of the controversial play, Columbinus, Feb. 18-20. Directed by Assistant Professor Dan Rairdin-Hale, the small cast portrayed various high school stereotypes, such as the Jock, Rebel, AP, Prep, Faith, Perfect, Freak and Loner. The cast included Andrew Kline, Mike Kline, Monique Vos, Grace Allen, Tony Stratton, Abby Van Gerpen (understudy for Kayla Jackson), Keaton Connell and Nick Jensen.

During the first act, the audience was introduced to the many sides of each character and not just the label that they are given. Each character has his/her own pain and his/her own insecurities, and audience members found themselves relating to the high school angst of each character. The second act was more intense, as Freak and Loner became the Columbine shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, and the audience saw a more human view of these two young men. Afterwards, the audience was invited to a talk involving various leaders in the teaching and psychology fields. The powerful show left many people speechless as they left the theatre.

Cast members said the most rewarding moment was when they stood on-stage as the audience left and were told repeatedly, "Thank you."

After the Saturday performance, the cast received praise from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) respondent Rick Anderson who said that everything–from the lighting and music, to the play as a whole–was very well done. Two actors–Mike Kline and Tony Stratton–were nominated for next year's Irene Ryan Acting Competition held at KCACTF in Ames, Iowa. Congratulations go out to them for their well-deserved nominations!


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