Event Details

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  • September 17, 2013 - September 29, 2013

The fourth season of acclaimed international theatre programming by ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage opens with columbinus, a play about the 1999 Columbine massacre. Performances take place Sept. 17-29, 2013 at The Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theatre at the Emerson / Paramount Center (559 Washington St. in Boston's Theatre District). Tickets, from $25 -$59, are on sale now at www.artsemerson.org or by phone at 617-824-8400. (Please note: the Sept. 18 performance is SOLD OUT.)

In Littleton, Colorado, in 1999, two teenagers devastated a community and shocked the country when they walked into their suburban high school and killed 12 students and one teacher. Based on interviews with teenagers across the country, as well as with the survivors and community members in Littleton, this poignant drama weaves together these testimonies with excerpts from diaries and home video footage to bring to light the dark recesses of American adolescence. Director PJ Paparelli returned to Littleton, CO ten years later to conduct new interviews and add additional material to this gut-wrenching and highly theatrical production. Without answering, columbinus lays out the circumstances and lets the audience grapple with the ultimate question: "why?"

columbinus received some attention in the Boston area in 2011, when Lexington High School canceled a student production because of the language and violence in the work. (The Huntington Theatre Company worked with the student director to present the play.)

According to ArtsEmerson Executive Director Rob Orchard, "A piece like this forces us to confront some very painful ideas. With (Emerson College) President Pelton being on the forefront of the national dialogue about gun safety, and with ArtsEmerson's interest in civic engagement, it makes sense that we use columbinus as a jumping-off point for discussion." (See below for background information on other ArtsEmerson activity in the civic engagement realm).

American Theater Company is an ensemble of artists committed to producing new and classic American stories that ask the question: "What does it mean to be an American?" They provide an intimate home for the community to experience meaningful stories by fostering a nurturing environment for artists to take risks and create essential work. ATC produces Chicago's most innovative work by nationally renowned, Pulitzer and Tony-winning playwrights within an intimate 107-seat space that is truly Chicago's public theatre, a home for diverse audiences.

Sept. 17 -29, 2013


American Theater Company (Chicago)

by the United States Theatre Project
Written by Stephen Karam & PJ Paparelli
Dramaturgy by Patricia Hersch
Conceived and Directed by PJ Paparelli

The Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theatre (?) at the Emerson / Paramount Center


Tuesday, Sept. 17, 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 18, 7 p.m. (SOLD OUT)

Friday, Sept. 20, 8 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 21, 2 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 21, 8 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 22, 2 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 25, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 26, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 27, 8 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 28, 2 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 28, 8 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 29, 2 p.m.

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