The true story of Leopold and Loeb is one that has fascinated people for decades. Two wealthy young men decided to commit the perfect murder in 1924. The cocky college students take down a young boy and assume they've proved their genius with his demise. Quickly their plans begin to unravel as the evidence mounts against them and they find themselves on trial for their lives.
"Never the Sinner" is a play based on the murderous tale and it was recently on stage at The Theater Within, located in Fountain Square.
The stage is small and unassuming, mere feet from the audience. The set is simple, the cast is limited and yet the director, Rod Isaac, manages to pull off just the right ominous tone. His use of eerie imagery projected on a blank screen to transition between scenes was chilling.
Zach Stonerock is excellent as the fidgety and condescending Leopold. He is both incredibly intelligent and socially stunted. He finds the attention he longs for in his relationship with Loeb. Nate Walden is Loeb, as different from Leopold as fire from ice. He is a charming, self-assured playboy who acts out of boredom and a desire for fame. Only his piercing eyes give a glimpse of the fury that resides just below the confident surface.
The show provides a fascinating look at the psychology that drives a man to murder and the consequences those actions lead to. The opposing legal counsels in the case add another facet with the question of the morality of defending admitted killers. The simple question of why anyone would do this haunts audience members long after the show ends.
Though this show has closed its run, The Theater Within has released its season for next year (see below). Visit their website for more information, http://www.thechurchwithin.org/theaterwithin/theaterwithin.html.
Photo Courtesy of The Theater Within.
"The Twilight of the Golds"
by Jonathan Tolins
Performances: March 12-27, 2010
If your parents knew everything about you before you were born, would you be here? That is the question posed in this entertaining drama. All is well when Suzanne Gold and her close New York family discover that she is pregnant, until a prenatal test reveals that the baby will most likely be homosexual. The news forces the entire Gold family to confront issues of bigotry, evolution and the limits of love.
by David Auburn
Performances: June 11-26, 2010
Catherine has spent years caring for her brilliant but unstable father, a famous mathematician. Now, following his death, she must deal with her own volatile emotions; the arrival of her estranged sister, Claire; and the attentions of Hal, a former student of her father’s who hopes to find valuable work in the notebooks that her father left behind. Over the weekend that follows Catherine faces the most difficult problem of all: How much of her father’s madness—or genius—will she inherit?
"Death and the Maiden"
by Ariel Dorfman
Performances: Nov. 5-20, 2010
Set in an unnamed country that is emerging from a totalitarian dictatorship, the play explores the after effects of repression on hearts and souls. Paulina Escobar’s husband Gerardo is to head an investigation into past human rights abuses. Dr. Miranda stops at Escobars’ to congratulate Gerardo. Paulina overhears them and is convinced that Miranda supervised her prison torture sessions. She ties him to a chair and conducts her own interrogation, gun in hand. Escobar doesn’t know whether to believe his distraught wife or his persuasive new friend.