About this Show

columbinus, a docu-drama, explores the cultural and personal pathologies that gave rise to the horrific events in Littleton, Colorado in 1999, when two students went on a shooting rampage at Columbine High School, killing a dozen students and a teacher before killing themselves.

This examination of the ecosphere of the average American high school presents an anonymous portrait of high school life in the fictionalized first act, before focusing in detail on the devastating events at Columbine in the second. columbinus probes the psychological warfare of alienation, hostility, and social pressure that goes on in high schools across America.

Created by The United States Theatre Project, written by Stephen Karam and PJ Paparelli, with dramaturgy by Patricia Hersch, and conceived and directed by PJ Paparelli, columbinus weaves together excerpts from discussions with parents, survivors and community leaders in Littleton as well as diaries and home video footage to bring to light the dark recesses of American adolescence. In the wake of our most recent school shooting at Marshall County High School in Kentucky, our country’s eleventh in the infant stages of 2018, The Yard’s 18 young-person based Ensemble teams with Steppenwolf's LookOut Series to explore an epidemic that continues to plague our society at continually alarming rate.  

THEATRE RELEVANT TO YOUNG PEOPLE, PERFORMED BY YOUNG PEOPLE

Founded in 2015, The Yard is a professional youth driven theater company that seeks to tell stories that explore, challenge, and give voice to the issues confronting our young people today. Through artistic mentorship as well as working with a diverse variety of professional theatre companies,The Yard creates theatrical experiences that immerse its young artists in every aspect of the Chicago storefront theatre-making process

Running Time

Two hours and 15 minutes with one intermission

Content Advisory

columbinus deals with tough content matter for audiences of all ages, and certain material may not be suitable for younger audiences including strong language, flashing lights, loud sounds, gunshots and simulated violence onstage. This show also contains instances of: violence, guns, gunshots, death, suicide, anti-Semitism, homophobia, racism, body shaming, misogyny, self-harm, eating disorders and sexual content. 

We recommend this show for ages 13 and up.

If you have any questions about content, age-appropriateness or stage effects that might have a bearing on patron comfort, please contact the box office at 312-335-1650.

Special Performances

There will be a 20 minute post-show conversation immediately following the 4pm Saturday matinees on May 19 and May 26.

Late Seating Policy

Please note, due to the intimate nature of the space and the sensitive content of the play, the artists have specified that there will be no late entry for columbinus.

Cast and Artists

Artists

Director: Mechelle Moe
Assistant Director: Jared Bellot
Movement Director: Dana Murphy
Dramaturgy: Lucas Garcia
Set Design: John Wilson
Sound Design: Aaron Stephenson
Lighting Design: Brandon Wardell
Violence Designer: Max Fabian
Stage Manager: Daniel Parsons
Photographer: Krista Wortendyke
Artistic Directors: Mechelle Moe & Joel Ewing
Costume Design: Elle Erickson
Prop Design: Dina Klahn
Projector Design: Joe Burke

Cast

Meitav Aaron
Brian Baren
Alex Brinkman
Danielle Chmelewski
Joel Ewing
Jyreika Guest
Thavorey Hang
Rory Hayes
Colin Huerta
Liliana Mastroianni
Victor Musoni
Azalia Resendiz
Iza Rodriguez
Cleo Shine
Ervin Tobar
Elodie Tougne

Reviews

Milk Like Sugar
"A truly remarkable production at Raven Theatre, audieces will be treated to a play of uncommon empathy and honesty that is one of the richest portrayals of inner-city life that I've yet seen on a Chicago stage... I use the adjective 'remarkable' to describe the production of Milk Like Sugar as no mere hyperbole."
Chicago Theatre Review

I & You
"I & You is engrossing and engaging. These are two true professional actors really owning everything in the show... I guarantee you will want to follow this company in the many years to come!"
Buzz on Stage Chicago

Blood at the Root
"Blood at the Root 
is one of the most important pieces of theatre in Chicago right now. Beyond theatreical skill, the act of teen characters being performed by teen actors– most of whom are still in high school– is potent... There are many strong moments and performances... This play, this production, and these performers present a timely and necessary edict to connect with each other and to challenge the rules we don't talk about." 
–Bec Willet, Performink

Reserve Tickets

Running Time

Two hours and 15 minutes with one intermission

Content Advisory

columbinus deals with tough content matter for audiences of all ages, and certain material may not be suitable for younger audiences including strong language, flashing lights, loud sounds, gunshots and simulated violence onstage. This show also contains instances of: violence, guns, gunshots, death, suicide, anti-Semitism, homophobia, racism, body shaming, misogyny, self-harm, eating disorders and sexual content. 

We recommend this show for ages 13 and up.

If you have any questions about content, age-appropriateness or stage effects that might have a bearing on patron comfort, please contact the box office at 312-335-1650.

Special Performances

There will be a 20 minute post-show conversation immediately following the 4pm Saturday matinees on May 19 and May 26.