Audience members held their breath as the beep of a flat line monitor rang throughout the auditorium. Viewers were thrown directly into the action as Caitlin Gabriel, the main character, fights for her life on the operating table after getting shot during a school shooting.
The play carries on with a different perspective of the school shooting where a mother recounts the harrowing experience of discovering the death of her daughter, Joy Sheridan. Meanwhile, a student witness to the shooting, Ryan Mayes, talks about what he saw during that dreadful day. He is adamant that Gabriel told the shooter where other students were hiding. Gabriel ends up surviving, but all is not well. With these false accusations hanging over her head and the media publicizing it, Gabriel’s peers look down on her and refuse to believe her.
Desperate to get the truth out, Gabriel agrees to do an interview. This turns out to be a mistake as the reporter twists her words into an accusation against Sheridan, making it seem as though Sheridan was the one who told the shooter where the students were hiding. This caused things for Sheridan to spiral out of control. It even got to the point where students signed a petition to keep her out of school. To make matters worse, a new revelation comes to light that Gabriel knew the shooter, Marshall Bauer. It turned out he bought alcohol for her and a friend. All the while, Sheridan’s mother cashes in on her daughter’s death and even writes a book about it.
As this is happening, Gabriel’s parents, Nolan and Elizabeth, are fighting for compensation for Gabriel’s injuries and medical bills. They are met with difficulties when they are told that no money is available to them due to the accusations against Gabriel. They are told that if Gabriel were to own up to lying, then she would be able to receive the money. While her parents urge her to do so, Gabriel refuses to give up on the truth.
The truth soon comes to light as Mayes returns to the library where the shooting happened and recounts what happened. As he describes everyone’s positions, inconsistencies sprout up. It turns out he confused Gabriel for Sheridan. To confirm this, his 911 call is remastered, which has proof of Sheridan telling Bauer about the students in the AV closet.
The play ends with Gabriel, her parents, the detective, Mayes, and even Sheridan’s mother giving a play-by-play of the shooting. The final words uttered are by Gabriel’s mom as she asks, “Did that help?”
Bethany Lee, continuing lecturer of English, was the director of “The Library.” This is her eleventh production.
“The Library” was presented on Nov. 3 in Alumni Hall. A matinee was presented on Nov. 11 at Canterbury Theatre in Michigan City.
Lee said what inspired her to pick this play for a school production was she wanted to have the play focus on a contemporary issue.
“I wanted to find something more serious. Since the play was chosen, many more shootings have occurred,” Lee said.
Lee said she wanted the play to feel natural and had the actors trained to not be over dramatic.
“I wanted the audience to really listen and respond to the characters and what happened in the story,” Lee said.
Lee said the purposes of the play was to provide the audience with a learning experience.