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I would first of all like to express appreciation to GCTC for giving me the opportunity to blog about our upcoming production in the studio, Agnes of God, showing November 1-10. Before I share more about the show, allow me to introduce myself and the company: my name is Jonathan Harris and I’m the founding artistic director of 9th Hour Theatre Company. 9th Hour was founded in 2009 with a mandate to creatively engage theatre in order to explore, examine, and express questions of faith and spiritual themes. Our mandate allows for diversity in creation and production of artistic works, incorporating dance, music, and other elements in telling the story to a wide range of audiences. After having completed an inaugural season of theatre in 2011, we became a registered Canadian charity early this year, and are currently completing our 2012 season.
Having begun the 2012 season last March with an award-winning adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment here in the studio at the Irving Greenberg Theatre Centre, followed by The Secret Garden in June at The Gladstone Theatre, and most recently, an adaptation of Chaim Potok’s novel, My Name Is Asher Lev in August at Arts Court Theatre, we are excited to return to the studio theatre this fall to wrap up the season with Agnes of God by John Pielmeier, showing November 1-10.
I am very excited about Agnes of God, as I feel there’s really something in it for everyone; whether you believe in God, in miracles, in science, or psychology; whether you’re an atheist, agnostic, lapsed in your faith, non-practicing, or devout. The script raises good questions with complex characters not always being what we expect, as layers of mystery are unravelled in a plot full of twists. I particularly like how each of the three characters rubs off a little bit on one another, leaving them all changed in the end. Our Director, Marc-André Charron, a physical theatre specialist from Montreal’s Satellite Theatre, has creatively staged the play in a timeless setting, with a three sided audience and incorporated original music to compliment the challenging, but rich script.
To give you a brief synopsis, a psychiatrist, Doctor Martha Livingstone, is appointed to assess the sanity of a young novitiate, Sister Agnes, who is accused of murdering her newborn. The Mother Superior, Miriam Ruth, determinedly keeps young Agnes from the doctor, arousing suspicions further. Who killed the infant and who fathered the tiny victim? Is Agnes a saint, insane, innocent, or simply naïve? Where is the line drawn between reason and faith, science and miracles? Who is Agnes, or more crucially, who do we need her to be? These questions and others force all three women to re-examine the meaning of faith and the power of love leading to a dramatic, compelling climax.
With an all-star female cast, an engaging script, and originally composed music performed live on cello, Agnes of God will certainly be a thoughtful, entertaining, and intimate experience at the theatre. If you’d like to know some more about the show, including the artistic team and cast, visit our website here, http://www.9th-hour.ca/the-stories/the-2012-season/agnes-of-god/, or check us out on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/9th-Hour-Theatre-Company/122860751082826?s...