Cal Lutheran Students Plan to Appeal Cancellation of Columbine-Inspired Play After Thousand Oaks Mass Shooting

Wrapping up a final dress rehearsal on Wednesday night, Gabrielle Reublin was optimistic about the show’s sold-out opening the following day. A senior at California Lutheran University, she and her seven fellow student actors had been rehearsing their staging of “columbinus,” which centers on the Columbine High School massacre in Littleton, Colo., nearly 20 years ago.

They were getting notes from their director — suggestions about how to make the truth they were telling even more resonant for their local Thousand Oaks audience — when their phones were suddenly flooded by calls, texts and news alerts. A gunman had opened fire on their local bar, killing 12 people.

“We were all in shock together,” Reublin said. “Before this, we’d come to the show, get into it, and feel all of these horrible things, and then we’d be able to go home and separate ourselves from this reality and we’d be OK.

“But now, there’s no line and we’re feeling this constantly now,” she added. “It’s literally so close to home, and there’s people we know who are involved. It’s so hard.”

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