You’ve never seen anything like this on a Kerrville area stage: two college-aged kids pick out a random youngster and kill him for the thrill of it. The real life story behind John Logan’s “Never the Sinner” was the first to be dubbed the “Trial of the Century,” and in the Chicago of the 1920s it certainly lived up to its billing.
The Guadalupe Stage Quartet is producing the first-ever staging of the award-winning play based on the killing, its aftermath and the trial itself, which featured Clarence Darrow for the defense, at the Cailloux City Center for the Performing Arts, opening this Friday, March 4th at 7:30 p.m. and running for ten dates through March 27th.
Nathan Leopold, a brilliant student studying Ornithology, and his friend, the thrill-crime obsessed Dickie Loeb engage in a sordid compact, trading sex for crime to satisfy each other’s desires. When Leopold suggests they are smart enough to be above the law, Loeb uses their newly-found, heady superiority to convince Leopold to escalate their crime spree.
Fourteen-year-old Bobby Franks, walking home from a baseball game, becomes their unwitting target. And from there life, and the play, devolve into a battle of intense intelligences and touchy egos.
The GSQ production is like no other area production in its tackling subject matter unique to our stages, in portraying a forbidden love tainted by psychopathy, and in a unique experimental production style designed to engage the audience in solving the complex mental issues at play in each scene.
Audience members who come prepared to be mentally challenged, shocked, and ultimately question everything they know about crime and punishment will not be disappointed.
The Guadalupe Stage Quartet builds on its history of plumbing the most intense dramatic scripts being staged in the U.S. with this show. After the critical success of their production of Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”, and with the help, encouragement and support of Playhouse2000 Theatre Director Jeff Cunningham, they are staging their premiere show on the Cailloux stage.
The killers and lovers are played by T.J. Ashabranner (Leopold) and Philip Huddleston (Loeb) with the promise of brilliant characterizations. The lawyers are drawn in great detail by Jeff Cunningham (Darrow) and Ken DeZarn (Prosecutor Bob Crowe). Playing myriad roles as reporters, policemen, psychiatrists, and femme fatale are Jeremy Sosa, Deanna Brandt and Blake DeWitt. Max Watson makes a cameo appearance as the doomed Bobby Franks. The play is directed for GSQ by Tony Gallucci.
GSQ would like to alert patrons that this show has adult themes, situations and language, and contains a scene of graphic violence. Please consider this for you own level of comfort, as well as if you are considering bringing children.
The Guadalupe Stage Quartet was founded in 2005 by the late Roy Burney, Holly Riedel, Marie Cearley and Gallucci to present area theatre-goers with serious dramatic theatre not otherwise seen on area stages. Recent years have included productions of “Death of a Salesman,” “The Lion in Winter,” “The Drawer Boy,” “The Octette Bridge Club,” and “A Walk in the Woods”.
All GSQ income from this show will go directly toward funding educational opportunities for the Ingram Tom Moore High School Thespians, and scholarships for senior theatre students. To date five such scholarships have been awarded from show proceeds.
The play will be presented on Friday, March 4th, and Thursday through Saturdays, March 10-12th and 24-26th, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday matinees on March 6th, 13th and 27th at 2:00 p.m. at the Kathleen Cailloux City Center for the Performing Arts in Kerrville, Texas. The play will skip the weekend of March 17-20th to allow area theater groups to attend the State Non-Profit Theatre One-Act competition in Fort Worth – one of the advancing plays, “Almost, Maine,” features “Sinner” leads Philip Huddleston and T.J. Ashabranner.