The Road to “High” Is Paved With Good Intentions
Sister Jamison Connelly (Melissa Johnston Price) is not your typical Catholic nun. The habit is replaced with slacks and a casual sweater. A simple cross around her neck the only sign of her faith. And she’d as soon punch you in the face as rap you on the knuckles with a ruler. She feels an affinity with St. Augustine best-known for his “Confessions” which explores his struggles with lust and other sins.
Father Michael Delpapp (Jonathan Hardison), Sister Jamie’s boss, is a soft-spoken, deliberate, emotionally-controlled priest who runs a drug and alcohol recovery center at his Catholic parish. He is the savior figure who attempts to rescue the population he serves, and Sister Jamie, from a past fueled by alcohol, drugs and promiscuity.
When Fr. Michael is unable to save his own sister—her body ends up in a dumpster—he secretly finances his nephew, Cody Randall (Kyle Cornell), a gay 19-year old meth addict and hustler, and covers up the murder of Cody’s lover. In a desperate act to save Cody from complete self-destruction, Fr. Michael brings Cody to the recovery center and assigns his care to Sister Jamie. It is a well-intentioned act that may ultimately destroy them all.
“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
Cody is initially skeptical of the profanity-using nun, but soon learns she is no-nonsense and can hold her own. He slowly begins to trust her, and begins to reveal his painful past, but the lure of drugs is too difficult to resist.
High is the Richmond Triangle Player’s fourth entry in the Acts of Faith theatre festival (they previously ran The Mormon Boy Trilogy), a collaboration between the faith community and professional theatre companies. High’s themes of sin and salvation, redemption and downfall, and the exploration of issues of addiction, enabling, homosexuality, and faith, are magnificently portrayed by Price, Hardison, and Cornell. The trinity received a well-deserved standing ovation from the opening night crowd.
High continues its run at the Richmond Triangle Players through March 15, 2014. Get tickets here!
Julie Harthill Clayton is an out and proud bisexual with a passion for reading, writing . . . and NOT arithmetic. Her work has appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, the Internet Review of Books, Curve Magazine, Lambda Literary and more. She is working on her first novel - Two Tickets to Freedom - a semi-autobiographical queer coming-of-age tale. A paralegal by day, Julie spends her free time knitting, writing, and reading anything she can get her hands on. She lives in Richmond with her partner, local artist David Turner, and their mischievous and loving hunting dog, Max.
“I think drag gave me permission… to find my voice. It was a very healing experience.”March 28, 2017
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