For his first directorial effort at St. Ambrose University, Daniel Rairdin-Hale in April staged the ancient-Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex. This month, however, finds the school's assistant professor of theatre tackling a tragedy that hits much closer to home.
"I remember where I was when Columbine happened," says Rairdin-Hale, referring, of course, to the April 1999 massacre at Colorado's Columbine High School. "It was right between my junior and senior year [at Pleasant Valley High School]. So I got to experience how everything changed. My first three years of high school were one way, and then this happened, and in senior year, everything was different. You couldn't have backpacks, doors were locked, you couldn't leave the building, we had bomb drills ... . It was very strange to be there during that transition.
"I mean, I'm sure there are things that high schools do now," he continues, "where students just assume, 'This is how it's always been.' You know, cameras, metal detectors - whatever. But there was a time before that."