The UW–Platteville Department of Performing and Visual Arts-Theatre and Pioneer Players continue its 2014–15 production season with John Pielmeier’s drama, “Agnes of God.”
Performances will be held in the Center for the Arts Theatre Wednesday, Feb. 18 through Saturday, Feb. 21 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 22 at 2 p.m. The traditional Saturday matinee has been changed to a Wednesday matinee on Feb. 18 at 11 a.m., and that performance is open to the public.
The Benefit Wednesday performance is Feb. 18 at 7:30 p.m. All tickets for the benefit are $6, and the proceeds will go to the Platteville Food Pantry and Southwest Wisconsin’s Family Connections.
“Agnes of God” tells the story of a psychiatrist, Dr. Livingstone, who is appointed by the courts to determine the state of mind of a novice nun, Agnes, who is accused of murdering her newborn child. Agnes’ mentor, Mother Miriam Ruth, tries to protect Agnes from Dr. Livingstone’s questioning, which raises the psychiatrist’s suspicions. The mother superior believes Agnes is “blessed” in a way psychiatry cannot explain.
According to the production’s director, associate professor of theatre, Dr. David Schuler, “The play becomes a battle between science and religion over Agnes’ soul. Mother Miriam wants to protect Agnes’ fragile spirit while Dr. Livingstone desperately wants to heal the young nun’s shattered mind. Is she mad, or is she a saint? Dr. Livingstone’s questions force the women to reexamine their ideas about faith, justice and the power of love.”
The cast includes UW–Platteville students Emily Cooksey as Mother Miriam, Rachael Lester as Dr. Livingstone, and sophomore theatre major Emma Wilson as Agnes.
Amanda Nerby, a senior theatre major, designed the set, and sophomore theatre major Sunshine Balch designed the costumes. Theatre major Abbie Wagner is the stage manager, and Jeffrey Strange, assistant professor of theatre/resident designer at UW–Platteville, is the lighting designer.
“New York critics called ‘Agnes of God’ a ‘powerful, electrifying drama ... [a] cleverly executed blood and guts evening in the theatre,’” said Schuler. “There is a wonderful theatricality to the way the play is written, which lends itself nicely to the story’s examination of memory and helps to heighten the emotional and dramatic intensity of the story.”
Tickets are $11 for general admission, $10 for faculty, staff and seniors, and $6 for students, and they are available through the University Box Office, located in the lower level of Ullsvik Hall. Phone orders can be made by calling toll free at 1-877-727-1CFA. Tickets are also available through the Online Box Office at tickets.uwplatt.edu.