Part 4 – Innocence Lost Production Diary
Part 4 – Jan 21 – Courtroom Drama:
It’s getting close to the end of rehearsal. Time is running out – I’ll be drawing right to the last minute. We’re hanging the show for opening night Tuesday January 29th. We’ll be having a small meet and greet from 5-7 pm, if anyone would like to come down to see the drawings, and I hope, also see the 8 pm show. As of this writing tickets are still available. (Purchase tickets here).
[I’m Curious how a 14 year old boy comes to be sentenced to hang?]
Innocence Lost is about the aftermath of a murder. So of course there are trials and appeals, interrogations and interviews. Some of these scenes have all the dramatics of a police procedural. Big shot expert witnesses, testimony of the first responders. The stuff we’re so familiar with from our Laws and Orders and CSIs.
Allan Morgan is particularly cracking as the judge – spitting lines like ‘…there to be hanged by the neck until you are dead.’
Or the judgmental cop asking – Do you like girls kid? Maybe take’em into the woods?
Director, Roy Surette calls this Perry Mason Stuff. Some of the 20-something actors had to pull out phones and check that on Wikipedia.
What’s more interesting is the way the play handles the real situation. What it must have been like for the kids in the witness box. All of them seem out of their depth testifying – do they even know they’re building an incriminating timeline? Do they understand that it really does matter if it was 7:00 or 7:30 when they saw Steven and Lynn? Why are the authorities interrogating these school kids and not looking closer at the military personnel in town?
Pippa Leslie is particularly chilling as young Jocelyn Gaudet. Could this girl really comprehend what was going on? She seems hell bent on executing her classmate with testimony. Tying the noose with her words. Was she a thoughtless kid lying for the attention, or just scared enough to say whatever the crown prosecutor wanted to hear? Did she make a small lie early, and end up way too deep?
It’s hard to say – who knows what any one of us would have done at that age. The crazy thing is that it ever happened. The idea that a gang of seventh grade kids could reliably testify in a death penalty case! I understand why the story is still controversial.
I hear second hand, that there are people in Clinton who still say the jury did the right thing, despite what we know today. Would you want to say your dad almost got a kid hung? Tough situation all around.