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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Tragedy

I went to see 'Columbinus' tonight at the New York Theater Workshop. It was not great. It was not the kind of play that you leave the theater talking about and that I think is the failure. The first half of the play is meant to examine the world of 'any high school' where the kids are stereotypes including two 'loser' stereotype boys who in the second half are Eric and Dylan and the any school is Columbine. It leaves you thinking about neither the universality of high school nor the factual events of the Columbine shooting. All the actors were good but I think the script was poor and definitely below the caliber of the NYTW where the best play I've ever seen, 'Spirit,' was done earlier this season.

I once made the argument that Comedy is made up of characters who are fixed in their ways and the play ends when one or all of them make a change. To follow that argument, Tragedy is made up of characters who are malleable and ends when one or all of those characters make a decision. (Think Much Ado About Nothing v. Hamlet). What was lacking in Columbinus was the malleablity of the characters. There was never a moment when they might not have done it, and therefore it was a horror but not a tragedy. That's my summation.

1 Comments:

  • I didnt even realize there was such a play out there. Can you ever do such a subject justice, or maybe Fame did it right the first time.

    By Blogger Tara's World, at 5:00 AM  

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