Agnes of God
Agnes of God (written by John Pielmeier and directed by Dr Tyrone Grima) is a three-hander thriller set in a cloistered monastery. In a nutshell, a novice (Kyra Lautier) gives birth to a baby which is found dead a few minutes later. A psychiatrist (Simone Ellul) is commissioned to assess the mental health of the nun but the mother superior (Isabel Warrington) does not make it easy because there is more than meets the eye.
Through an innovative and ambitious project, the play 'Agnes of God' was staged from the 3-7 of December 2020 at the University of Malta Valletta Campus Theatre with the aim of creating a space for dialogue between theists and atheists, based on the approach that whatever our beliefs, we all share a common human experience with lots of questions but few answers.
The production happened in the context of a University-funded research project entitled "Perspectives on the human quest for existential meaning through theatre" in joint collaboration between Dr Christian Colombo, Prof Vicki Ann Cremona, and Dr Tyrone Grima. The project aimed to explore the tension in contemporary society between a pull towards secularisation and simultaneously the more traditional side of society that fears that liberalism will destroy its values and structure. They succeeded in doing this by providing a bridge for communication between these two polarities, based on the deep need in each human person to find meaning in life.
To this end, two follow-up webinars were organised on the 8 and the 10 of December 2020, the themes of which were Psychology, Ethics and Religion; and Femininity, Church and Religion, respectively. Ms Gail Debono debated the first theme with Rev. Dr. Carlo Calleja, a catholic priest who has a doctorate in moral theology. The second theme was debated by Dr Pauline Dimech, a member of the Department of Pastoral Theology, Liturgy & Canon Law, at the University of Malta, and Prof. Vicki Ann Cremona, chairperson of the School of Performing Arts, at the University of Malta.