The youth of Poplar Springs North Baptist Church are hoping their performance of a musical drama based on the 1998 tragedy at Columbine High School can be life-changing for the audience.
Members of the group agreed that the production can really give something positive to those who see it including a sense of understanding, safety and security... and maybe even one more thing — eternal life.
“Ooh, they might get saved!”
That’s how West Laurens Middle School seventh-grader Kassie Daniel summed it up when asked why young people should come out this weekend and see the play “It’s Not Too Late.”
The play is based on the 1998 incidents at Columbine High School where numerous students and teachers were gunned down or injured by two fellow students, who later turned their weapons on themselves.
All involved in the play seemed to share Daniel’s passion, including director Angie Mucher.
“It’s just powerful - It’s so powerful,” Mucher said. “I knew it could touch lives.”
Mucher said the group had expressed an interest in doing some sort of play several months ago. She said she turned to her computer in search of a project.
“I just started looking for a play on the Internet,” Mucher said.
Mucher said she came across the Columbine-based play by Dick Lentz and knew it was the right project for the group.
She contacted Lentz to share her interest in bringing the play to Poplar Springs.
Mucher said the play, while dealing with a horrifying subject, is portrayed in a way that really appeals to young people.
Music minister Dan Storey said that is what makes the production so relevant to the age group it’s aimed at.
“It is exactly like what happens at a real school,” Storey said.
“The play actually shares a plan of salvation in a way young people can relate to,” Mucher said.
She said when the group first read the play members were “completely spellbound.”
The play is based largely on the true events of the Columbine massacre in 1998. The theme that binds the production is choice — and consequence.
“Consequence — that’s the main theme,” Storey said. “It shows that choices that are good here... should also be good for eternity.”
Mucher said the effects of bad choices are shown as well.
“If a life can be changed, this play will change it,” she said.
Mucher said that even though her group knows all the intricacies of the play and what to expect, never has there been a rehearsal without tears.
“It’s just very emotional,” she said.
Mucher said the group has a lot of hope for the play and the potential for change in the community.
“Outreach into the community,” West Laurens Middle School Casey Morris said matter-of-factly when asked why he chose to participate in the play.
In a group discussion before a play practice, the group agreed that fear is still present in schools after Columbine and similar tragedies.
“It could have happened at our school, we just had to have faith that we would be okay no matter what happened,” Dublin High School junior Maria Hall said.
Storey said while the play does have some fairly graphic moments, it is not gory. A lot of the tragic scenes are made more dramatic by special effects, lighting and sound.
“A lot of things are implied,” Storey said.
The play has been a long time in the works. Mucher said the planning process began in August. She lauded her youth group, as well as church members and staff who have pitched in to help.
The production will involve about 25 young people.
Another highlight of the play is the fact that it will be performed in the church’s recently completed family life center. It will be the first production ever performed there.
Storey stressed that the play, which lasts just over an hour, is open to everyone and there is free to the public. Both Storey and Mucher said the play is geared for elementary aged children and up.
The musical drama will be performed two times. The first production will be Saturday, March 9, at 7 p.m. and the second performance will be Sunday, March 10, at 7 p.m.
For more information, the church phone number is 676-3654