This Fringe seems to be a big year for Americans. Admittedly every year there is a large contingent from the US, but it seems that more American companies than ever before are waking up to their nation’s position in the world. While this can only be a good thing in more global terms, it doesn’t necessarily translate into good theatre.
A Line In The Sand is a piece of documentary theatre that was borne out of the tragic Columbine shootings. Based on interviews conducted by actress/playwright Adina Taubman, A Line In The Sand charts the aftermath of the massacre and bi-polar feelings of the residents of Littleton.
While the results are interesting, and give us an insight into an otherwise non-descript community ravaged by violence, it has to be said that A Line In The Sand lacks focus. Admittedly it presents a balanced account of the community’s feelings, giving both angry and sympathetic testimonials, but it would be more palatable if it were editorialised in some way.
It can safely be said that most people realise that allowing all your citizens to have firearms is going to cause problems. Instead of giving so much time over to the anti-gun lobby, A Line In The Sand could be a more interesting social commentary if it focused on Harris and Klebold’s peers who could sympathise with their need to act out. Nobody actually condones their actions, but a number of the interviews reenacted by Taubman tell us that there is something severely rotten at America’s core if young people can understand why their schoolmates went on a killing spree.
As it stands, A Line In The Sand is interesting, but it doesn’t tell us much we didn’t already know or assume. With a bit of reworking, it could be a lot harsher and a much more fitting testimony to the 15 people who died in Columbine High School. Interestingly, considering Taubman’s apparent impartial stance, it seems strange that she doesn’t list Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold as two of the victims of April 20th, 1999