BEST PRODUCTION BASED ON PRINCIPLE - 2006
Dead Man Walking Denver Victorian Playhouse
The men on America's death rows, their lingering, useless days, the terror of the hours until countdown: Most of us rarely think about them, but like the mad aunt in the attic, they are always there, haunting the fringes of consciousness. University of Denver's Sturm College of Law, in conjunction with Alliance Stage, brought the issue into the daylight recently, staging Tim Robbins's Dead Man Walking, based on the book by Sister Helen Prejean. The book and the play make the inhumanity of state-sanctioned execution clear while taking into account the rage and grief of victims' families. Dead Man Walking is, in part, agitprop, but it's agitprop in the most thoughtful and honorable tradition. The production at the Victorian was effective, sustained in large part by the beautiful and committed work of Terry Ann Watts as Sister Helen and Michael Richman's understated, passionate performance as convicted killer Matt Poncelet.