Synopsis: A priest struggles with his own convictions, and mortality, after experiencing a multiple victim homicide event at an all boys’ Catholic High School graduation.
Setting: A church altar located within the Saint Aloysius Boys High School, Millborough
“The Seventeenth Coffin”
A Play in One Act By Kevin T. Baldwin
ACTON, MA: Gun control and religion square off in “The Seventeenth Coffin”, a new one-act play written by Kevin T. Baldwin of Worcester, one of twelve plays being performed by Theatre III in Acton.
The play tackles the Second Amendment and focuses on a priest coming to terms with a great tragedy. The priest, Father Weems, takes a moral stand and ultimate journey when the gun control debate hits close to home.
As the story unfolds, Father Weems, played by Baldwin, sits and watches helplessly as coffin after coffin passes near him after a mass shooting. The level of physical and emotional devastation in its wake becomes overwhelming for the man.
At odds with Father Weems is Father McManus, played by Art Stoumbelis, who not only believes in God but also has argued numerous times with Father Weems about his belief in the right for “responsible people” to carry weapons.
But has the catastrophic event on campus brought the clergymen closer to a more mutual understanding or are they now more polarized than ever as a result?
Father Weems scrutinizes these questions and more in “The Seventeenth Coffin” as he encounters an unusual woman, played by Lexi Deschene, who has come forth to console the priest, although he does not know why.
Baldwin’s play is an analysis of individual vs. societal beliefs and through many plot twists and turns, without being overly maudlin, self-indulgent or preachy, the play becomes more about the birth, death and re-birth of a man’s beliefs.
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