Director Tom Kobolak will produce Agnes of God at the Ron Maslin Playhouse this November.

Kanata Theatre director talks Agnes of God, Audience can expect intellect and emotion from play directed by Tom Kobolak

Arts -Director Tom Kobolak is well known at Kanata Theatre for his preference for plays that are full of intellect and emotion, while still offering an evening of entertainment.

Opening Nov. 5 is Kobolak's interpretation of John Pielmeier's Agnes of God, a threewoman play about a novice nun suspected of killing her child. The convent's Mother Superior clashes with a psychiatrist over Agnes's capacity to stand trial, her mental state and her isolation within the convent.

Kobolak said he was initially attracted to this play because Agnes' character posed so

many unanswered questions.

"I looked upon the play rather as a study in madness or homicidal mania, or possibly, even divinity," Kobolak said. "Was she insane? Was she a psychopath, watching the proceedings between the psychiatrist and Mother Superior and choosing to behave in such a manner that her twisted intents would not be discovered? Or at the far end of the scale, was Agnes really an agent of the Holy Spirit?" Kobolak said it's an unusual play in that it tackles themes often overlooked in modern plays.

"The setting of the play within a convent led Kathryn Young-Davies and I to the next stage: the Catholic Sisterhood itself," he said. "The history, the accomplishments, the rituals all make for a lot of ... inspiring reading. Nuns give up what the rest of us would refer to as normal life. Prior to Vatican II a postulant entering a contemplative order might actually leave her family at the threshold of a gate, walk through, turn and wave, and disappear as the gate closes behind her."

Kobolak said researching the convent lifestyle has given him renewed respect for the calling.

"Their life once through those gates is given up to the task of talking to God. And the history is full of stories of tough, savvy Mother Superiors who succeed in getting hospitals and schools built in locations that might best be described as 'ungodly.' These ladies are worthy of great, great respect."

Kobolak's past directorial successes include Dancing at Lughnasa, a story of five sisters in 1930's rural Ireland, The Inheritance, which explores the ghosts of unresolved motherdaughter conflicts, and Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

Kanata Theatre's production of Agnes of God runs at the Ron Maslin Playhouse, 1 Ron Maslin Way, just off Terry Fox in Walter Baker Park, from Nov. 5 to 9 and Nov. 12 to 16.

Tickets are $20. The playhouse is accessible. Call them at 613 831-4435 for more information.