Oregon Children’s Theatre needed no reminders about the relevance and weight of the subject when the company put columbinus on next spring’s schedule.
Education director Dani Baldwin says there was a robust debate within the organization about whether the community was ready for a play exploring the 1999 killings at Colorado’s Columbine High School.
They scheduled a staged reading last Thursday, June 5th. Only five days later, news broke of a shooting at Troutdale’s Reynolds High School.
We talked with Baldwin, and with Thom Hilton, one of the actors who took part in the reading about the play, and why they felt it’s important to stage a work that deals with such a painful and difficult subject.
Hilton notes the subject of mass shootings has been handled in many films over the years - sometimes in less-than sensitive ways. He says it’s the OCT production next year has a role to play in creating conversation made by students and for students.