Sunday, December 17, 2017

theatre review - AGNES OF GOD - Compass Players - December 8, 2017

Click here for more information on this production that runs through December 17th.

"Questions of faith, spirituality, doubt and morality plus the role of science and the power of love combine in John Pielmeier's classic drama Agnes of God. Compass Players, one of the newest theatre companies in the Valley, opens their second season with a searing production of this complex and compelling play.
Dr. Martha Livingstone, a court-appointed psychiatrist, is assigned to assess the sanity of a young nun named Agnes who lives in an isolated convent and who has been accused of murdering her newborn baby. But Agnes claims to have no memory of giving birth to the infant. And just who fathered the child? Did faith play a part in the birth and death of the child, or is Agnes a mentally unstable woman who killed her baby? Livingstone squares off with the convent's Mother Superior as secrets and the truth are revealed....With just a few pieces of furniture, character-specific costumes, and a gifted cast, director Jeanna Michaels has beautifully brought Pielmeier's work to vibrant life. ...Only the use of a couple of short video segments to portray flashback scenes is a bit of a disconnect. ...Michaels also plays Dr. Livingstone. As this strong, educated woman, Michaels is adept in showing how Livingstone struggles with her own logic and convictions and how the events of her rough and raw past have formed and influenced her to resent religion. Megan Holcomb is superb as Agnes...Holcomb's portrayal of the insecure, diminutive, terrified and haunted girl is stunning. As Mother Superior, Frances Murphy is very good in showing how this calm and composed woman is protective of Agnes and afraid that if the young woman is exposed to the real world it will tear away her innocence....While at first Agnes of God appears to be an intricate murder mystery, it is a superbly calculated and cunning raw character study of three very different women and an intense drama that portrays the views of society concerning faith and facts, as all three women question their own beliefs and who they are. With precise, confident performances, Compass Players presents a beautiful, powerful production of this provocative play that draws distinct lines between faith and reality and the presence or absence of God." -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

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