The Forum Players, the student-based acting group at Genesee Community College will present Jonathan Pielmeire's 1982 script, "Agnes of God" on October 6, 7, and 8 at 8:00 p.m. in the Stuart Steiner Theatre of the Batavia Campus. This play marks the first production of the Genesee Center for the Arts' 2005-2006 season.
Based on the 1982 Broadway play by Jonathan Peilmier, "Agnes of God" concerns a nun who is accused of murdering her newborn baby. A psychiatrist appointed by the court must determine if Sister Agnes is insane or not. But, as the Mother Superior of the convent points out, Agnes is not the typical person, or even the typical nun. She seems almost incredibly naive, and perhaps she really is a holy innocent, close to God in a way more appropriate to the Middle Ages than today. Or is she merely insane? The psychiatrist, a lapsed Catholic with grievances against the church, is determined to probe deep and fully explore the situation. Mother Superior, on the other hand, is in desperate need to reinforce the shaky faith and is equally determined that Sister Agnes' simple piety not be destroyed.
The cast consists of Jaime Arena of Batavia who plays Dr. Livingston, Elizabeth Batt from Buffalo as Sister Agnes, and Tiffany L. Widrick of Carthage, NY in the role of Mother Superior.
"For me, this has been one heck of a learning experience," according to Maryanne Arena, the director not only of the play but also of Genesee's Fine and Performing Arts department. "I've done shows with small casts before but the camaraderie between the cast is amazing. It's like we are all sisters."
Widrick agrees, stating, "I'm in my final year here at Genesee Community College so this may be one of my last plays. I'm fortunate to be able to attack such a challenging script. The chemistry between Jaime, Liz, and I is really improving our work."
Ms. Batt concurs, stating "it is nerve wracking, but I'm really challenging myself." Indeed, the small cast is reflected in the set design as well. Minimal props underscore the stark nature of the subject matter.
Ms. Arena chose this play specifically "because it addresses the needs of the students, and the theme is relevant today." Arena's students will "have to dig down deep to know these three women. 'Agnes of God' will provoke anyone who sees it into stimulating debates," Arena promises.
Tickets for Agnes of God are available by calling the Arts Center office at 585-345-6802. Tickets are $6.00 for adults, $3.00 for children under 18 and senior citizens, and $2.00 for Genesee students with a current ID.