By Dick Lentz
A Musical-Drama based on the Columbine Tragedy
A Story Of Decisions People Make About God
Few of us will forget what happened at Columbine High School in Littleton Colorado on April 20, 1999. We're troubled by what happened there that day. But we also want to know why it happened. What caused these two individuals to take such extreme measures to express what they were feeling inside?
I was moved to view this tragedy from a spiritual standpoint. A person's relationship with God affects their outlook on life and their ability to cope with it.
'It's Not Too Late' is a Christian musical-drama based on the Columbine tragedy. It takes place during a typical day in a high school. It tells the story of Katie Smith, a new student in school, as she struggles to fit it, to make a friend or two, and learn some things about life in the process.
Katie makes friends with Lisa Caldwell, a compassionate, committed Christian. Lisa tells Katie about the importance of having a personal relationship with God. But Katie also meets Jason Holmes, a rebellious, arrogant, angry young man who hates God and those who believe in Him.
The play ends in tragedy when Jason acts on his anger and kills several students including Katie and Lisa. But the focus of the play is not on the tragedy. It is on the decisions people make about God and the consequences of some of those decisions.
The most important decision we make in life is the one we make about God. The path we choose to take, especially the choice we make about God, has enormous consequences for our lives and for the lives of others.
This play has a simple yet powerful message. It's too late for some to take a different path in life. But for the rest of us --- it's not too late.
The play was performed by members of the Niwot High School Bible Club (Niwot, Colorado) and students from Longmont Christian School (Longmont, Colorado). There were 6 performances from April 9, 2000 through May 13, 2000. Over 500 people saw the play. Many were moved to re-evaluate their own relationship with God as well as the urgent need to share with others the truth about God and His love for others.
The play was written by Dick Lentz from Niwot, Colorado. It is 55 minutes long. All the music is original.
I am a graduate of Simpson Bible College with a degree in Biblical Literature and Communications. I have taught adult Bible studies for over 30years and am currently teaching at Calvary Church in Longmont, Colorado.
I have considerable acting experience including roles in close to a dozen theatrical productions and small (but fun) parts in movies such as 'Return of the Jedi' and 'Eye for an Eye.'
In my spare time, I write. I've written adult Sunday School curriculum for David C. Cook Publications, Gospel Light, and other Christian publishers. I also occasionally write newspaper editorials that give biblical perspectives on secular issues.
In the daytime, I am a senior systems analyst at a software developer in Boulder, Colorado.
Scripts, music, video tapes, and audio cassettes are available. Prices on application.
Contact me if you want more information about the play or about the items available.
PHONE: 303-652-2991 (evenings)
ADDRESS: 7918 Fairfax Ct., Niwot, Colorado, 80503.
Or visit my web site, which contains fuller information, at www.christplay.com
The story takes place during one day at a high school. Mr. Brooks is the custodian of the high school. He collects trash. Sometimes what he finds in the trash reminds him of things that happened in school. This day is no different. What he finds tells both the happy and tragic events that transpired. He recounts what happened.
Judy Jones is a student in school. She has a sour outlook on life. She hates any discussions that include mention of God. She is annoyed by Lisa Caldwell, a committed Christian who is not reluctant to share her faith. Katie Smith is a new student at school. She is awkward and a little bit lost. She's worried about fitting in and wants to make friends. She also wants to learn how'others deal with life in general - what works and what doesn't.
As Katie travels from class to class, she discovers man's answers to some of her questions. In History, she hears that studying history can help her master the world she lives in. In Biology, she observes an experiment that illustrates the belief that life originated from a primordial pool as the result of a 'cosmic accident'. And in Philosophy, she listens as students debate options for making moral 'decisions.' In the process of going from class to class, Katie meets Jason Holmes, an arrogant, rebellious, angry student who has his own answer for life, 'Follow your own'path'. Jason is an irritant to many of the students and is harassed by some of them. He also has rejected God and hates those who believe in Him. Nevertheless, Katie'is curious about Jason's independent nature and philosophy of life. But Katie also meets Lisa Caldwell. Lisa shares God's truths inside and outside the classroom. Lisa is able to impress Katie with the truth about God and the answers the Bible gives for her questions. She also shares what made her decide to commit her life to God.
Katie must choose which path to follow - Jason's or Lisa's. Though curious about Jason, she ultimately decides the best way to go is God's way - the path that Lisa has chosen.
Mr. Brooks returns to the stage. It seems that the story will end here with a happy ending. But Mr. Brooks reminds the audience that real life is not like a story. Real life sometimes ends in tragedy.
Jason, acting upon his hatred for God and for others, kills several students in the school library including Katie and Lisa. He then kills himself. Mr. Brooks finds the students in the library. But he is no ordinary janitor. In reality, He is Jesus. He has been with Katie and the other students all the time, guiding them and trying to keep them pointed in the right direction. Mr. Brooks 'awakens' all the dead students except Jason and takes them to spend Eternity with Him.
Left on an empty stage is Jason. He awakens and finds that he is alone. He discovers too late that he made the wrong choice in life by rejecting God. In sorrow, he sings, 'It's too late for me'. He is then led off the stage by a stranger dressed in black. Judy returns to the stage. She is heartbroken about what has happened and how she treated Lisa. Mr. Brooks finds and comforts her. Judy wants to know if it is too late for her to make a different choice in life. Mr. Brooks reassures her that it isn't. He then gives her Lisa's bible.
Mr. Brooks then turns to the audience and reminds them that everyone has a choice to make about God. The choice they make affects their lives now. It also affects where they will spend Eternity. It's too late for some to take a different path in life. But for the rest of us.....it's not too late. He leaves the audience with the question, 'What choice will you make?'
Katie enters from stage right. She walks slowly, holding the bible Lisa gave her earlier. It is open, and she reads silently as she walks. She sees Jason, closes the bible, and walks towards him.
KATIE: 'Hi Jason. I've been looking for you.'
Jason is startled. He removes his hands from the backpack and closes it.
JASON: 'Oh........ Katie .......hi.'
KATIE : 'I've got a question for you.' (she sits beside Jason).
JASON: (stands - he's in a rush) 'I'm kinda busy right now......... ' ( He grabs his backpack and starts to leave towards stage left).
KATIE : (stands and calls after him) 'But you did say I could come to you for answers.'
Jason stops. But he stays turned away from Katie.
KATIE : (takes a step towards Jason) 'What were you talking about in Philosophy class.......when you said there are no options?'
JASON: (he shakes his head) 'You don't want to know.' (he starts to walk left again)
KATIE : (with firmness) 'Yes I do!'
Jason stops, turns, and faces Katie. He stares at her for a moment. But he then sees the bible in her hand. He drops his backpack and snatches the bible out of her hand.
JASON: (irritated) 'What's this?'
Katie reaches for the bible. Jason turns to keep it away from her.
JASON: (irritated). 'Just as I thought. A bible. You won't get anything but lies out of this!'
Jason walks over to the trashcan, drops the Bible in, and watches it as it hits bottom. He then turns and starts walking back to the left. Now it's Katie that's furious. She runs to the trashcan, fishes the bible out, then runs up and grabs Jason by the shoulder. Jason turns around. He's enraged. His hand balls up in a fist as if he's ready to punch Katie out. Katie quickly withdraws and holds her arms out in front, trying to calm Jason down.
KATIE: (defensively) 'Chill out Jason'
JASON: 'You're lucky you're a girl, or I'd mash you face in. What do you want to know.'
(he walks to center stage, starting to calm a little).
KATIE: 'For one thing, why did you throw Lisa's bible in the trash? ' (she wipes off the bible with her hand.)
JASON: 'I just put it where it belonged. With the other junk!'
KATIE : (perplexed) 'I don't understand. Lisa said it had some good stuff in it.'
JASON: (holds his arms up as if appealing to the gods. ) 'Lisa - DEAR Lisa. What must I do to rid myself of her and her RIGHTEOUS ways.' (he goes to Katie and grabs the Bible back.)
KATIE: (tries to get it back) 'Jason.......'
JASON: (He pushes Katie away, and holds the bible up) 'This book represents everything I hate about Lisa........and GOD!!!!'
KATIE: (confused) 'I thought you didn't believe in God.'
JASON: 'I DON'T!!'
Jason is infuriated. He's been caught in a contradiction and knows it. He throws the bible on the floor at Katie's feet. Katie picks up the bible, then looks at Jason.
KATIE : (quietly) 'It's just a book, Jason............and from the little I've read, it does make sense.'
JASON: (calmer, but still angry) 'She's sure got you brainwashed.'
KATIE : (defensive) 'Lisa's OK......'
Jason frowns at her. Katie decides to move on to something else.
KATIE: 'About Philosophy class......When you're stuck and think you have no options, what choice do you make?'.
Jason turns to look at Katie. He pauses, deciding if he's going to answer the question . He then starts singing.
I FOLLOW MY OWN PATH
I follow my own path
Wherever it may lead
I don't care where it ends,
Or if it's straight or bends.
I'll walk this path alone
Or with you if you wish
Just don't complain or gripe
About the ruts we'll find.
My road may not be best,
At least that's what they say
But then what do they know
About this road I walk.
I want to take this path
Because this path I take
I don't want them to tell me what to do
I don't want to live my life like them.
I follow my own path,
Wherever it may lead
I don't care where it ends
Or if it's straight or bends
I want to take this path
Because this path I take
(Two more verse are sung here)
Jason is through. He's starts to walk away to the right. But then he stops to say one last thing to Katie.
JASON: (quietly) 'Let me give you some advice.'
KATIE : 'What's that?'
JASON: 'Stay out of the library. It's not a good place to be today.'
KATIE : (perplexed) 'Why?'
Jason doesn't reply. Instead, he turns and quickly walks off stage right.