“The Farm” at Penguin Repertory, a Real CIA Thriller

BY GEORGE J. DACRE

There is some real intense acting in the production of “The Farm” at Penguin Repertory Theatre in Stony Point closing out its 36th season with a dramatic flourish.

Actors Michael Cullen, Erin Cherry and Gian-Murray Gianino depict the story of something going wrong, but Cullen playing CIA operative Finn is not talking. Erin Cherry, as Parker, grills him unmercifully about his past and the death of a CIA intern.

Finn is haunted on stage by the spector of “The Stranger” played by Gianino and the dialogue heats up as Finn defends himself but revealing the deep dark problems of being in the CIA. Is Finn ready for “The Farm,” asks Barker. “As ready as he ever will be,” she opines.

And so this drama is enacted on the Penguin Rep Stage in the gutsiest little theatre off the lawn and the audience was rapt with attention as a murder is reenacted and Finn destroys his demons with the murder of “The Stranger.” The end is climatic as you will see if you attend this play that is set in Parker’s office in March of 2004.

Cherry, Cullen and Gianino create just the tension the situation calls for and are well directed by Mark Shanahan in this world premiere of Walt McGough’s play. If you are in the mood for a thriller, “The Farm” is for you. I rate it Three Stars Out of Four!!!

Weekends through October 20. Tickets at penguinrep.org or 845-786-2873.