By – The United States Theatre Project
Text – Stephen Karam and PJ Paparelli
Dramaturgy – Patricia Hersch
Conception and Direction – PJ Paparelli

Scenic Design – Tony Cisek
Costume Design – Miranda Hoffman
Lighting Design – Dan Covey
Sound Design – Martin Desjardins
Projection Design – JJ Kaczynski
Production Stage Management – Amy McCraney

Anna Camp
Joaquín Pérez-Campbell
James Flanagan
Carmen Herlihy
Nicole Lowrance
Karl Miller
Will Rogers
Bobby Steggert


Order tickets:
Single tickets on sale April 20.

Call at 212-239-6200 or 800-432-7250 or visit
Please call our box office at 212-460-5475 for additional information.
Our box office is open Tuesday - Saturday, 1:00pm-6:00pm.

Facility address:
79 East 4th Street, located between Bowery and Second Avenue in the East Village.

Single tickets, $55.00 each.

CheapTix Sundays, $20.00 (all tickets for all Sunday evening performances at 7:00pm; tickets must be purchased in person, in cash at the NYTW box office).

columbinus, a play sparked by the April 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, 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. When columbinus premiered in 2005 at the Round House Theatre, Peter Marks of the Washington Post called it, "An ambitious examination of the suburbanization of evil, directed with a surefire sense of theatricality by PJ Paparelli." columbinus received four Helen Hayes Award nominations including Best Resident Play and Best Director, Resident Play. The NYTW production of columbinus is based on the Round House Theatre / Perseverance Theatre co-production.

Production history

Beyond Documentary Theatre a panel discussion with co-authors Stephen Karam and PJ Paparelli about the making of columbinus. This discussion, a special Repeat Defenders Fireside Chat on April 11, 2006, was moderated by the artistic director of The Civilians, Steve Cosson.

First preview, Friday, May 5; opening night, Monday, May 22; final performance, Sunday, June 11.
Performance schedule:
Tuesday at 7:00pm; Wednesday – Friday at 8:00pm; Saturday at 3:00pm and 8:00pm; Sunday at 2:00pm and 7:00pm.

Saturday, May 6, no 3:00pm performance
Sunday, May 7, no 2:00pm performance
Saturday, May 20, no 3:00pm performance
Monday, May 22, special 7:00pm performance (opening night)
Tuesday, May 23, no performance

Audience discussions:
Wednesday, May 10, pre-performance beginning at 7:00pm
Tuesday, May 16, post-performance
Wednesday, May 17, pre-performance beginning at 7:00pm
Running time:
approximately two hours and 30 minutes with one intermission

About the artists:
Patricia Hersch's groundbreaking book A Tribe Apart: A Journey into the Heart of American Adolescence (BallantineBooks) has become a classic in its field. Described by The Philadelphia Inquirer as "a contemporary masterpiece," it was named one of the top ten books of the year by both The Wall Street Journal and on Parenting and Families. Known as a lecturer, consultant, writer, and youth advocate, Hersch tours the country bridging the gap between adolescents and the adult world around them, and she is frequently called upon by the media for her expertise. Immediately following the Columbine shootings, she was asked to address a special meeting of the COPS (Community Oriented Police in the Schools) Program at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., a Listening Conference on School Violence for Youth convened by MTV and the National Association of Attorneys General, and a seminar for journalists, "Putting School Violence in Perspective," at Gannett Headquarters in Arlington, Virginia sponsored by the Educational Writers Association and the Casey Journalism Center for Children and Families. A former contributing editor to Psychology Today, her work has been published in The Washington Post, USA Today, The Baltimore Sun, and other newspapers and magazines nationwide. Her new book, A Passion of Their Own: The Adolescent Quest for Connection will be published next year.

Stephen Karam received a 2006 Helen Hayes nomination for co-writing columbinus. His most recent play, Speech & Debate, will premiere this summer at the Brown/Trinity Playwrights Repertory Theatre. His other plays have been produced/workshopped at The Kennedy Center, Stark Raving Theatre, Arena Stage, The Blank Theatre Company, Round House Theatre, Perseverance Theatre, Cardboard Box Theatre Company and at the New York Music Theatre Festival. He is a winner of the Director's Choice Award selected by Tony-winning director John Rando, a three-time winner of the Blank Theatre Company's National Young Playwriting Competition, YPI's (Young Playwrights Inc.) National Playwriting Competition, and the Kennedy Center's ACTF Award for Musical Theatre. He is a graduate of Brown University.

PJ Paparelli is in his second season as Artistic Director of Perseverance Theatre. Last season he co-directed Voyage, and directed A Midsummer Night's Dream and the world premiere of columbinus, with Round House Theatre in Washington, DC. He is the founder and artistic director of The United States Theatre Project, where he conceived, co-wrote columbinus, which was nominated for five 2006 Helen Hayes Awards, including Outstanding New Play, Outstanding Direction, and Outstanding Production. From 1998-2004, he served as the Associate Director of The Shakespeare Theatre, where his directing credits include Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, Bard on Broadway (with Karen Ziemba), Love Letters (with Dixie Carter and Hal Holbrook), All's Well That Ends Well (Classical Acting Conservatory), Hamlet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and The Merchant of Venice at the Shakespeare Free For All, and many plays in the ReDiscovery Series including the world premiere of three Tennessee Williams' recently discovered one acts. He was associate director on The Oedipus Plays starring Avery Brooks at the Athens Festival in Greece, was the assistant director on King Lear, Richard II, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Coriolanus, King John, A Woman of No Importance, Twelfth Night, Trojan Women, Timon of Athens, and The Duchess of Malfi.
The Washington Post called PJ, "One of the most exciting talents working in Washington." His DC productions include Romeo and Juliet at The Folger, a collaboration with Terrence McNally on a new version of Corpus Christi at Source Theatre (2003 GLAAD Media Award), the world premiere of John Strand's The Diaries at Signature Theatre and Love's Labour's Lost at Washington Shakespeare Co. In 2001, PJ was selected to direct the inaugural production of the Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis, Romeo and Juliet (2001 St. Louis Post-Dispatch Judy Award "In a Class By Itself") and was appointed to the Festival's Artistic Advisory Board. PJ founded and served as artistic director for the Pittsburgh Public Theatre's Shakespeare Intensive where he directed A Midsummer Night's Dream and Tom Stoppard's Fifteen Minute Hamlet. Other directing credits include Twelfth Night at Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Action at Circle Repertory Company Lab and True West in Russian at the Moscow Art Theatre School in Moscow, Russia.
PJ has directed and/or taught Shakespeare at The Juilliard School (Richard III), North Carolina School of the Arts (Split), University of Alaska-Southeast, UNC at Chapel Hill, Catholic University (Twelfth Night), University of Pennsylvania (Once on this Island), Johns Hopkins (Godspell), and many master class and education programs at The Shakespeare Theatre. He holds a BFA in directing from Carnegie Mellon and graduate studies in acting at the Moscow Art Theatre School in Russia. He was recently appointed the faculty of the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College.
In 2005-06, he will direct Twelfth Night and Hair at Perseverance, and will begin development on three world premiere plays: American Family for USTP; Sins of the Father, a collaboration between Perseverance and the Juilliard School, and Raven Odyssey, a theatrical exploration of Native Alaskan Raven stories.