Tuesday December 12th 2017

” Agnes of God”

Highly Recommended  It is hard to do a play about religion, in particular the Catholic religion without making that the focal point of the production. Hubris Productions, one of our newer and smaller theater companies, a company that strives to provide entertainment, inspiration and education in addition to its “giving back to the community”, has scored with a gigantic and powerful production of “Agnes of God” written by John Pielmeir. This powerful piece is one that challenges the true meaning of faith as well as power. This is a three women story dealing with a nun , Agnes ( a powerful and beautiful performance by  Sara Pavlak, who shows her true depth as an actress in this extremely challenging role), who killed her own infant,  her Mother Superior ( deftly handles by another strong actress, Lorraine Freund) and a Psychiatrist that the court has appointed to determine what might have really happened ( Barbara Roeder harris, who rounds out this sterling cats). This production takes place in the very intimate studio theater at Greenhouse Theater Center on Lincoln Avenue. This is a very intimate setting and is caught between two bars, so on a Saturday night, the party animals on the Avenue, letting off steam can get loud. These three actresses kept their focus and never let any of the outside influences take them from their concentration. So powerful was their focus, that we, the audience never heard what was happening outside either. We were glued to the power of the words of Pielmeier and the actresses who brought them to life.

Under the direction of Jacob Christopher Green, this story unfolds in a simple way- no fancy sets, no outlandish lighting, and of course being about nuns, no fancy costumes. I for one did not care about anything but the brilliance of the three women on this small and sparse stage and the way that Green made it all happen. Dr. Livingstone wants to know what really happened. She is not a believer in the Catholic religion and has her own reasons to try and discredit what the Mother Superior thinks or says was a miracle and that Agnes was not guilty of a crime. As these women interact, the conflict between the Mother Superior and the Doctor grows even stronger and the love that he doctor begins to feel for young Agnes gets stronger as well. There are secrets that unfold during this almost two hours of  powerful drama and to tell you what they are would ruin what this play is all about. This play deals with the search for truth- the truth that we as individuals seek for ourselves. There is faith and there is science and in many cases, science proves that faith could be wrong. On the other hand, to many, faith is what makes them believe, not just in a God, but in themselves and those they love. Is there an absolute truth? Can science debunk most of what we accept as real? These are just a few of the questions that are raised in this battle for the truth of what happened to Agnes. The end of the play, still leaves us with questions, but allows us to continue the search on our own!

                                                          

I found this to be a dynamic production and I may have used the word” Powerful” more than I have in any review before, but I found this production , from start to finish to be just that- ( need I say it again?) POWERFUL! I would have to call this a “must see” and you can until  April 16th at The Greenhouse Theater Center located at 2257 N. Lincoln Avenue, with performances on Thursdays,Fridays and saturdays at 8 p.m. as well as Sundays at 3 p.m.

Tickets are only $25 ( students and seniors $20) A portionn of all ticket sales will be donated to the Humbolt Park Social Services ( www.hubrisproductions.com will give you more details)

To purchase your tickets call 773-404-7336 or visit Hubris or www.greenhousetheatercenter.org

Street aprking is available ( some metered, some zone) or you can get discounted parking ( $6.00) at Children’s Memorial Hospital, a half block north of the theater center.

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