The MNSU Theatre Department put on a play called The Library that drew from events in mass shootings from past and present years on Thursday night in the Andreas Theatre.
The Library opened with the lights turned off while emergency phone calls played over the speakers. As the performances continued, I perceived an implied and symbolic connection to an implication of the confusion and terror characters felt that, despite what they believed was true, was not necessarily the case.
The play was called The Library because of the accumulation from ideas that conflict with perspectives people hold and was tied in with genres such as history, psychology, literature, fiction, poetry, and so on. The Library also tied in the tendency the media has in manipulating the “facts” so it can conjure a story that will seize the public’s attention. As though a mass shooting isn’t traumatic enough, the media messed with the facts and dramatized the relationships involved.
The plot centered around Katelyn, a sophomore who was shot and recovering in the hospital. At the same time, Mrs. Sheridan, mother of Joy, another student, had kindled a rumor. The rumor was initiated because other witnesses had heard Katelyn tell the shooter, Marshall Bauer, where the other high school students were hiding so she could save herself.
But the police detective raised questions and investigated the layout of the high school and students visited the library, where the shooting happened for psychological refiguring. After police gathered evidence for both, the evidence ultimately proved that in the state of panic, the victims’ senses had mixed up the truth.
The use in the symbols of the crosses were prevalent in the characters’ costumes as mirroring and maintaining the image of perfection. Throughout the story, as the play revealed small side details, the characters’ lives were not what they strived to appear to others. Mrs. Sheridan would quote scripture and use self-righteous language in saying that she forgave Katelyn for betraying the students, including her own daughter, but her actions never matched up with her words. Then, when the police’s evidence found contradictory evidence, she still could not admit she was wrong.
Katelyn’s own parents had their own secret, too, which had led to their divorce.
While events like this are reported on various media forms, it is also easy to become desensitized because of the frequent coverage. The Library brought into perspective how a person can also misinterpret the “facts” of their everyday lives and become more open to listening to other sides and, despite the pursuit for truth, not all details may be known.
The Library also served as a reminder for how truly and deeply human each person is.