Agnes of God got to me, not because of the plot which can be termed controversial, not by the ending which left me hanging, but by the performance of three women, so strong and riveting, I cannot believe that the whole play only needed minimalist yet impressive stage set and lighting effects to produce such an outstanding result.
Agnes of God is a play by American playwright John Pielmeier. It is about a novice nun named Sister Agnes who gives birth at the convent. As if that in itself was not sensational enough, the baby was found dead in a wastebasket with her as the primary suspect for the murder. Dr. Martha Livingstone was called in as the court-appointed psychiatrist who is tasked to determine Sister Agnes’ competency to stand trial. Mother Miriam Ruth, the convent’s mother superior appears determined to protect Sister Agnes at all cost as she is convinced of the young nun’s innocence.
Further thickening the plot is Sister Agnes claim that she does not know she was pregnant and Mother Miriam’s contemplation of the possibility of immaculate conception. Dr. Livingstone was determined to find out the truth. Under hypnosis, Sister Agnes admitted to knowing about the baby and killing it because it was a “mistake”. It was also revealed that the young nun had a tormented childhood which affected her rational thinking ability.
Agnes of God by Repertory Philippines
Repertory Philippines first staged Agnes of God in 1983. It is interesting to note that the role of Sister Agnes was played by Pinky Amador who actually won an Aliw Award for Best Actress. Amador now plays the role of Mother Miriam Ruth while Becca Coates plays the titular role of Agnes. Completing the cast is Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo as Dr. Livingstone. It is directed by the highly-acclaimed Bart Guingona in collaboration with REP-trained and Set Design professor at Fordham University, New York, Joey Mendoza.
The story revolved around these three characters. Martha stays on stage all throughout with Sister Agnes and Mother Miriam performing flashback of events, both past and present. The roles demanded much from each actor and they delivered what was asked of them, without any doubt. This play banked heavily on the convincing performance of these three women. The minimalist stage set, lighting, and music lent the right mood and impact commanded by the story.
Agnes of God Play Dates
The show will run from February 17 to March 12 at the OnStage Theater in Greenbelt 1, Makati City.
For inquiries, you may call REP at 843.3570, and Ticketworld at 891.999 or log on to www.ticketworld.com.ph.
For updates and show schedules, log on to www.repertoryphilippines.ph, like and follow repertoryphilippines on Facebook and Instagram, and follow @repphils on Twitter.
I enjoin everyone to watch Agnes of God if you would like to witness top caliber performances on stage. This play is the second offering of Rep which is celebrating its golden year. If this is the kind of quality in plays we can expect from a company that has turned 50 years old, then aging indeed is not a bad thing at all.