by Barry K. Weinhold, Ph.D.

Rush_coverRush To Judgment: The Trial of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold is a play that uncovers the hidden causes of school violence and how the “culture of violence” has invaded our nation’s schools. The play has been written to be performed by high school and college drama departments or community drama groups.

The premise of the play is that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold did not commit suicide at Columbine but are captured and put on trial. The play is a courtroom drama where the testimony and cross-examination of the key witnesses for the prosecution and the defense bring out the various elements of the overall culture of violence that contributed to this tragedy. The audience then becomes the jury that hears the testimony and then votes on the innocence or guilt of these young men.

The main intention of the play is best summed up in a public letter of apology written by the parents of Dylan Klebold. Thomas and Susan Klebold wrote, “We are convinced that the only way to truly honor all of the victims of this and other related tragedies is to move clearly and methodically toward an understanding of why they occur, so that we may try to prevent this kind of madness from ever happening again. It is our intention to work for this end, believing that answers are probably within reach, but they will not be simple. We envision a time when circumstances will allow us to join with those who share our desire to understand.”

Play Examines Hidden Causes of School Violence

Barry Weinhold, the author of the play, said, “My reason for writing this play is to bring a deeper level of understanding of the culture of violence that exists in this country and the part it played in the Columbine tragedy. I have become very frustrated by the way the mainstream media has handled this and the other recent school shootings. Everything in this play came directly from the media’s coverage of the Columbine tragedy and its aftermath. However, no one put all the pieces together to help us answer the key questions: ‘Why did this happen’ and ‘How can we prevent this from happening again’ The play provides the members of the audience with the complex facts in this case and asks them to come up with answers to these two questions. It involves the audience in a gripping drama that helps them to better understand at a personal level the various elements of the culture of violence that contributed to this tragedy. There is an wise saying that reminds us, ‘You can’t fix something until you know how it got broken.'”

A Short Synopsis

A short synopsis of the play, including Act I, Scene 1, is included at the top of the page for your review. The play can be purchased by high schools or community drama groups from the Kindness Campaign. In order to make it easier for high schools and community groups to perform this play, when you buy the script you also get (1) the permission of perform the play, (2) the right to make as many copies as you wish for your school or community group, and (3) the right to change or adapt the script. If you are interested in having your school or community put on this play, please purchase using our Bookstore on this web site or contact: Barry K. Weinhold, Director of the Kindness Campaign, for further details at 828-686-1890

Further Reading:

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