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franklin county times

Phil Campbell alum plays in “Agnes of God”

MiKayla Thrasher will portray Agnes in “Agnes of God” at the Ritz Theatre in Sheffield Sept. 29-Oct. 2.
MiKayla Thrasher will portray Agnes in “Agnes of God” at the Ritz Theatre in Sheffield Sept. 29-Oct. 2.

Phil Campbell 2016 graduate has acted in pivotal roles in the “Diary of Anne Frank,” “Miracle on 34th Street” and “To Kill a Mockingbird,” but this week she will take the stage again as a young nun on trial.

MiKayla Thrasher will perform as Agnes in “Agnes of God,” a Tennessee Valley Arts Association production, at the Ritz Theatre in Sheffield Sept. 29 through Oct. 2.

“She is a young nun at a convent. She was discovered unconscious in her room, and they found a baby in the wastepaper basket,” Thrasher explaines. “There is this quality Agnes has to her – this otherworldly quality … I believe she was truly in contact with God.”

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The play, written by John Pielmeier and first performed in the 1980s, follows the story of a young nun accused of murdering an infant she gave birth to in a cloistered convent. The psychiatrist assigned to her case meets opposition in the convent’s Mother Superior, and all three women explore questions of faith, memory and the meaning of sainthood, according to Pielmeier. The tale is loosely based on actual events.

Thrasher, a freshman at UNA is one of only three actresses who make up the entire cast of “Agnes of God.” She said rehearsals began in August for the production

“It’s just an absolutely fascinating story,” said Thrasher. “I wanted to be a part of it.”

Thrasher said she has dedicated many hours to getting inside Agnes’ head in order to play the part convincingly.

“It’s an incredibly unique role because Agnes is such a one of a kind character,” she said. “It’s been a challenge to get a grasp on how she talks, how she moves, how she acts and to try to portray how her mind works.”

Rehearsals have continued three to four days a week, and somehow Thrasher has managed to remain dedicated to the play while also balancing her responsibilities as a college freshman.

“It’s been pretty hectic. There’s never a boring moment in my life between homework and practicing lines,” she said. “But it’s been manageable.”

Thrasher is double majoring in music and psychology with an eye toward continuing a career in performance but also preparing for a potential career as a psychologist.

Acting has been a passion of Thrasher’s since she was young.

“I love that by putting on a different outfit, it’s like you become this entirely different person and live out this life on stage,” she said. “In the end, if you do your job right, (the audience) walks away and hopefully they’ve learned something or gotten the entertainment they needed.”

Thrasher encouraged play-goers to dig below the surface of the story of “Agnes of God” to appreciate its many layers.

“Nothing is as it seems. There’s always some deeper meaning or some hidden thing you really have to search for,” she said. “There’s a lot to take in.”

For ticket purchasing information for “Agnes of God” ($12.50 for adults; $8 for students), visit http://www.tvaa.net/plays/tickets.html or call 256-383-0533.

 

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