Columbinus - Critical Response

Critical Response

When columbinus premiered in 2005 at the Round House Theatre, Peter Marks of the Washington Post called it "An ambitious examination of the suburbanization of evil, directed with a surefire sense of theatricality by PJ Paparelli." Marks noted that "The script, by a writing team headed by Paparelli... is heavily based on research. (Stephen Karam and Sean McNall are credited as co-writers.) The words of Harris and Klebold, as well as court records, statements of Columbine witnesses and interviews with high school students across the country are incorporated into the proceedings. Other conversations are invented."

The Variety reviewer (of the Off-Broadway production) wrote: "While the first act overdoes the buildup, act two has Miller and Rogers manfully shouldering their complicated characters and delivering the goods on their tormented inner lives. Here, scribes Karam and Paparelli drop the universal material of teen angst garnered from interviews in favor of words drawn from the private diaries, emails and videotapes that go a long way in exploring the twisted thinking behind the shootings... the production is especially well served by the wall of sound created by Martin Desjardins to suggest the demonic thoughts ricocheting in the boys' brains as they bought guns, made bombs, dressed to kill and worked themselves into a homicidal frame of mind by obsessing on their grievances as social outcasts."

The New York Times reviewer (of the Off-Broadway production) wrote: "Mr. Karam and Mr. Paparelli have captured authentic notes of adolescent anxiety and yearning in briskly drawn scenes set in and around the classroom, the gym and the cafeteria. The dialogue is occasionally enlivened by a sharp jab of wit ... Much of it is also depressing or disturbing. And when the focus shrinks to the actual killings, and the dialogue is drawn from the testimony of the survivors of the rampage, the play becomes more upsetting still... ultimately don't offer any illuminating new views of the tangle of psychological and cultural factors behind it (including, of course, the easy availability of guns)."

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Famous quotes containing the words response and/or critical:

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