What happens when a religious institution like the Catholic Church puts the reputation and status of its priests and nuns ahead of the needs of their most vulnerable members, children?
In her new play, Princess Margaret, Patricia Connelly takes on Catholic school education and explores the plight of a young girl caught in a power struggle between two nuns and their different approaches to education.
Part of the Women’s Voices Theatre Festival, Princess Margaret will open September 19, 2015 at The Trinidad Theatre – 1358 Florida Avenue NE, in Washington, DC, and run in repertory with Whenever You’re Near Me I Feel Sick, by Jennie Berman Eng, through October 4, 2015. The NoMa-Gallaudet U/New York Ave is the closest Metrorail station.
Set in 1969 in an impoverished community in upstate New York, Princess Margaret pits Sister Anastasia, Principle of Our Lady of Lourdes school, against Sister Helen, an award winning teacher with an obsession for discipline. When eleven-year-old Margaret is caught stealing milk from the convent, Sister Anastasia takes pity on the girl and admits her to the school.
Margaret joins the class of Sister Helen, where she soon thrives in reading and writing. Tensions begin to mount, however, as Sister Helen’s demands for order clash with Margaret’s chaotic home life.
Sister Anastasia must decide whether to look the other way or take action and risk losing the school she has built.
Princess Margaret features Elizabeth Bruce, Taunya Ferguson, Allison Frisch, Rebecca Hausman, and Andrew White. Directed by Michael Oliver, the production team includes lighting design by Sarah Chapin, sound design by Jonathan Powers, and set design by Jack Golden. Art for the show has been provided by Eric Gordon.
Patricia Connelly is an award-winning playwright and director. Her plays have been presented at The Kennedy Center’s Page-to-Stage Festival and have been produced in Washington, DC, and New Mexico. Her play, The Penny or the Stone, won the Robert Bone Memorial Playwriting Award at the Dallas Theatre Center. Other full-length plays include What Happens in This Town, All the Sins of My Past Life, Harriet, and Night Sky. She has taught playwriting and theater and produced new play festivals at the University of New Mexico. She has an MA degree in Theater from the University of New Mexico, and she is a student in the MFA Creative Writing (Playwriting) program at Goddard College. She is a member of The Dramatists Guild and the Playwrights Forum of Washington, DC.
Women’s Voices Theater Festival: Jennie Berman Eng’s ‘Whenever You’re Near Me I Feel Sick’ Opens September 17, 2015.