You’ve likely never heard of it, which is bad.
Or you might be remotely familiar with its themes involving the Catholic Church, virgin births, accusations of killing a newborn and psychiatry, which helps unless you’re scared off by such weighty matters. That, of course, is bad, too.
It’s not an easy story to pitch to the public. Actually, Georgetown Community Theatre knows it has a tough sale on its hands with its February production of Agnes of God, which on the surface might not scream “Come watch this!” to a large audience.
So for those of you potentially scared off, why come watch this?
Well, the actors and staff running the show are your friends, neighbors and co-workers, and each brings a high level of skill to the show.
That, of course, is great.
Cheryl Connelly, Kathy Jones and Samantha Tackett play the three roles and are more than ready to tackle the challenges that lie ahead.
“I find the love-hate relationship that the psychiatrist and mother superior have to be rich with possibilities,” Jones said. “Playing the psychiatrist, I am anxious to see if I can transform her character within the play. She asks for answers but gets far more than she bargained for. Her character is so full of conflicts, and her fight to remain objective and professional at the same time provides a wonderful challenge.”
Connelly, who plays the other part of that “love-hate relationship,” agrees.
“All the characters are complex,” she said. “It’s as if almost every line has both a surface and an underlying meaning. The discovery and honest portrayal of these meanings is the challenge for all of the actors.”
And what about Agnes?
“I usually go for the characters with happy endings, like in Little Women and Oklahoma!” said Tackett. “Agnes is certainly not one of those.”
Tackett readily acknowledges the difficult subject matter but stands behind the belief that GCT will be able to overcome any doubts the public might have.
“The theatre as a whole faces a great challenge with this play,” she said. “We need to find a way to draw a crowd and present it in a way that is thought-provoking yet doesn’t make the audience so uncomfortable that they can’t enjoy it.”
Two things should immediately help: the script and the director.
“I read the script for Agnes early last year and found it to be a real page-turner,” Connelly said. “This is the type of play that leads you down one path then suddenly puts up a wall and sends you scrambling down another.”
And Scott Turner, taking directorial duties for Agnes with help from first-time assistant director Joanna Jerome and first-time producer Randy Hall, is playing maestro to it all.
“With Scott’s direction, this should be a very intense, rich, thought-provoking production,” Jones said. “I’m delighted to be a part of it.”
Turner, who has been a fan of the play for several years, was drawn in by its overall themes.
“The play explores the nature of faith and the consequences of finding the truth,” he said.
But it’s not all dark.
“The script contains a fair amount of humor and irony,” Turner said, “with very snappy dialog and beautiful singing by Agnes (Tackett). This very talented cast is going to deliver a memorable performance of a play that in spite of its age (30 years) is still very relevant.”
Jerome, who steps behind the scenes after being on stage for several GCT productions, opted to get involved because of the enthusiasm Turner and Hall have shown for the play while talking about it for the last couple of years. Then “I read the script about a year ago and cried and cried,” she said. “It’s just beautiful.”
It’s not going to be easy, but good things seldom are. And “Agnes” isn’t just good – it’s great.
“I expect this play will not only provide our audience some intrigue, but it will also give them several issues to ponder and discuss,” Connelly said. “It will certainly be an evening they will remember.”
So yes, on the surface Agnes of God is a tough pitch, but it’s a play that’s more than just surface. It has depth. It has a talented cast. It has a strong script. It has a skilled director and crew.
Now all it needs is one thing.
How to get there
Georgetown Community Theatre will present Agnes of God at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22-23 at Thomas & King Leadership and Conference Center. Dinner will be served at 6:30. Tickets are $30. A matinee performance will be held at 2 p.m. Feb. 24, with dessert served at intermission. Tickets are $20. Tickets are available at Country Peddler Gifts, 218 E. Main St. (863-4116 or by calling Scott Turner at (502) 542-0220. For more information, visit www.georgetowncommunitytheatre.org.