by Milan Stitt
Directed by Steve Lemenille
Produced by Linda Viel
Stage Managed by Taylor Lyons
The Runner Stumbles
Based on a true trial in the early part of the 20th Century in a remote parish in northern Michigan, a young nun has died under mysterious circumstances, and her superior, Father Rivard, has been charged with her murder.Â The action alternates between interrogations, testimony and scenes from the past which reveal that Father Rivard, who had been banished to the small, up-country parish, fell in love with Sister Rita; and when circumstances forced her to move into the rectory with him, his anguish became unbearable. Â Their relationship, inevitably, spelt tragedy, but not until the explosive and surprising climax of the play is the full extent of their sacrifice made clear and the identity of the murderer revealed.
Although the action of the play involves a priest and a nun, this play is not about Catholicism, but, rather, about issues which confront all religions and all human beings: the struggle of the individual around relationship to God; the nature of God; and the struggle all humans face in decisions and choices they make.
[best Broadway Play of 1978]
[The movie version starred Dick Van Dyke, Kathleen Quinlan, Maureen Stapleton, Ray Bolger, Tammy Grimes, Beau Bridges]
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