Haverstraw Youth Theatre Takes on Social Media and Sends Powerful Message in: “The Truth About Agnes”

BY GEORGE J. DACRE

This is the age of Internet bullying and use of social media to embarrass people. The play “The Truth About Agnes,” written and directed by Samual Harps at Shades Repertory in Haverstraw, focuses on the trauma and disaster that bullying and embarrassing can involve.

Agnes is brilliantly portrayed by Alexis Salem, a graduate of Ramapo College with a bachelors degree in psychology. Salem is a bright, warm, intelligent young woman as Agnes who is headed to an Ivy League school. An unhappy boyfriend posts some lewd pictures of Agnes online and this drives her to suicide attempts.

A young man, Anwar, wonderfully portrayed by Kurt-Hines Williams, is a victim of having untruths posted about him online and he helps Agnes but he also is driven to kill himself because he could not quell the untruths. This is the theme of Harps work and it is told in a compelling drama by these young actors who are most impressive in the “Truth About Agnes.”

Theodora Kimmel, who plays Agnes’s mother, Kelcie McNamara (Bethany), Sienna Jeffries (Kim), Emily Kristen Schepker (Lea), Mathew Masiello (Ryan) who betrays Agnes, Marissa Gore (Casey), Jelani Jeffries (Von) and Amanda Castro-Conroy combine to act out this powerful drama bringing a professionalism to the Haverstraw Youth Theatre that has proved to be the venue for young actors and is proving to be a great workshop and place for them.

Harps direction is keen and results in a presentation that includes not only acting but direct talking to the audience that moves the production in the direction that Harps is going for. Harps has been directing the Haverstraw Youth Theatre for more than 10 years and he says many young actors who started in the theatre at the Central Presbyteran Church have gone to do incredible things in the arts and in life.

With productions such as “Agnes,” the future for Haverstraw Youth Theatre moves forward and the ongoing pursuit of this dream will continue. I urge more Rockland and Bergen residents to pay attention and see some of these productions. They are eye openers and worth the trip. I rate “The Truth About Agnes” three out of four stars!!!

“Footlights” Coming up May 16, 17 and 18 Spring One-Acts at Shades Repertory including “The Tram,” “Bobbo’s Bullet,” “Take One for the Team,” “Death Be No Joke” and the opening scene from “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf.” Information at 845-675-8044 or shadesrep.com.