An emotional play creates a new controversy


Photo by Nancy Beston

Nancy Beston, Photo/Design editor

Many people have found a controversy in CMR Drama’s latest production 26 Pebbles. A common misconception is that the play is about a school shooting. If one were to attend or read the production, they would understand that a school shooting is part of the plot line, but the story is actually about the hope and healing of a small town after a tragedy.

In fact no one dies on stage, no bullets are fired, and no gun sounds are used. The show is based off of the people affected by this event and they interviews Samuel French did with the. The production is officially hitting the stage March 28 – 30 but I have attended two of the dress rehearsals.

The students in the show understand that the subject matters are no joke and you can see that in their acting. Each student has multiple characters they must play throughout the 85 minute show; they distinguish the characters with different accents, postures, and costumes. My personal favorite characters were Yolie, played by Kairi Lising and Rabbi Praver, played by Malcolm Contreras.

Yolie is a hippie loving gal and there is a part in the production where she talks about sitting outside by the Newtown sign by the highway. She then holds up a sign that says “I am love, I am Newtown.” She makes a statement that they will not get her name and that she is just reclaiming her town. Rabbi Praver is a powerful character in my opinion. He came to Newtown to share his religion with the community members and has this stutter throughout the show that adds to the depth of his character. The part that got me to cry for the first time was  when he was saying how he talked to a woman and she said she wouldn’t be able to continue if her kid was dead.

One thing that makes this show  particularly very special is the audience’s  part of the show. Everyone sits on stage with the cast, they are also all required to wear name tags. There is a specific part where Kaitlyn Bratten, playing Jen, will say an audience members name. Two other characters also hand out their business cards during the show but all of the characters connect with an audience member in some point of the show.

This show is very personal and emotional so be sure to check it out. Be sure to bring your box of tissues and buy your tickets early because there is only 90 seats per night.