Read Agnes of God by John Pielmeier Online


Drama / Characters: 3 FemalesSummoned to a covent, Dr. Martha Livingstone, a court-appointed psychiatrist, is charged with assessing the sanity of a young novitiat accused of murdering her newborn. Miriam Ruth, the Mother Superior, determindly keeps young Agnes from the doctor, arousing Livingstone's suspicions further. Who killed the infant and who fathered the tiny victiDrama / Characters: 3 FemalesSummoned to a covent, Dr. Martha Livingstone, a court-appointed psychiatrist, is charged with assessing the sanity of a young novitiat accused of murdering her newborn. Miriam Ruth, the Mother Superior, determindly keeps young Agnes from the doctor, arousing Livingstone's suspicions further. Who killed the infant and who fathered the tiny victim? Livingstone's questions force all three women to re-examine the meaning of faith and the power of love leading to a dramatic, compelling climax. A hit on Broadway and later on film."Riveting, powerful, electrifying drama...the dialogue crackles."-New York Daily News"Outstanding play [that] intelligently with questions of religion and psychology."-The New York Times"Unquestionably blindingly theatrical...cleverly executed blood and guts evening in the theatre."-New York Post...

Title : Agnes of God
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780573630224
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 76 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Agnes of God Reviews

  • Kathryn Bergeron
    2019-04-24 17:21

    Summary: Sr. Agnes had a baby, and that baby was found dead in a trash can in her room. Dr. Livingstone (I presume) has been charged with determining her mental state for trial. What did happen to this poor innocent young woman, and is her Mother Superior covering up the father? or even the murder?Review: One of these days I'm going to write a book, a play, a haiku, on the back of a paper napkin, a beautiful work of art that doesn't treat nuns as if they're totally crazy. Nuns = the sanest people I know. Way saner than you or I. Seriously? Molestation? Rape? Murder? Convents are not nearly this exciting, and someone like Sr. Agnes would have never made it into a convent in the first place.

  • Martha
    2019-04-13 15:17

    I read this book for a class I'm teaching. Very interesting from a psychology standpoint, incredibly sad from a personal standpoint. The characters are fascinating and the way their lives are intertwined make for a gut-wrenching read.

  • Playwright42
    2019-04-01 16:36

    I like to think of it at the play that would be if Alan from Equus was a nun instead of a boy. It doesn't get into her head as much as I would have liked though.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-04-19 16:22

    First I gave it a 2 then changed my mind and gave it a one. Waste of time and very pointless. At least it didn't take long to read.

  • Natalie
    2019-04-02 15:22

    There are some gorgeous speeches in here, but I was not able to suspend my disbelief far enough to ever stop wanting to yell, "THIS IS NOT HOW HYPNOSIS WORKS. THIS IS NOT HOW PSYCHIATRY WORKS."

  • Cathi
    2019-03-31 19:09

    This play is compelling and very well-written, but it's almost too disturbing for me to recommend it. I read it back in college and was distraught for days, as I thought about it. As someone said, "Why are there so many weird books, plays, and movies about nuns?" After all, most nuns are NOT weird but are just doing their best to live by their faith and good works. So I'd give the play a 4 for the compelling writing style but just a 2 for its depiction of nuns and the Catholic church.

  • Joe
    2019-04-01 19:19

    A moving play about a nun whose baby dies and the ensuing trauma for her, her mother superior and her court appointed psychiatrist. None of them will ever be the same. You can find a superb audio production on iTunes.

  • Angel Hearn
    2019-04-08 18:25

    Fantastic story with brilliantly developed characters used this for my GCSE exam and played Agnes who is an amazing character.

  • Abigail Oldham
    2019-04-05 13:32

    Disturbing, challenging, haunting-leaves you wondering for weeks...Not for those who avoid discomfort.

  • Timothy Morrow
    2019-04-23 15:32

    To begin this review I will first explain that I would have given this four and a half if that was an option, this play deserved such a score. Now for the review. This book was bought for me randomly, and only having a Wikipedia's opinion and information of the play, I walked into it mostly blind. This play was very different from most I've read, there is no stage direction mostly, and there are only three characters, who are almost always on stage together. It gave a more human and natural air to the play, made it easier to become entranced with the characters. The theology and ideas in this play were brilliant, I do wish they were played out more, but it was strong and intelligent. Innocence and Sainthood being in question throughout the play. Each character were guilty and horrible by themselves, none were innocent. The Mother let her obsession with Pride for the Church bring a horrible situation happen. The Doctor was obsessed in getting revenge for her sister that her judgement was clouded. The list could go on further, but I will leave some to new readers.The characters were written beautifully. I believed that each one was an individual and a person. By reading the words they expressed, I was allowed entry into their weaknesses and the honestly of their psychological scars. It was quite brilliant. In conclusion the Story itself was well written, something I have never read before. The ideas and message was interesting and thought provoking. And the characters, like an open book, invited you into their minds and hearts. With reading the last words I almost stood up out of my bed and applauded the actors, only to remember that they were only in my head. Four and a Half stars indeed.....Timothy~

  • Amy
    2019-03-29 18:13

    Agnes of God was something I thought I read in college, but I realized I hadn’t. It was actually quite good. I was worried it would be very “OMG NUNS GONE WILD” but it was a little more Mariette in Ecstasy than that, so I was pleased. (If you haven’t read Mariette in Ecstasy, I totally recommend it. It’s fantastic.) A young nun is found passed out in her room, having just given birth; a dead baby is in her wastebasket. No one in the convent knew she was pregnant; no one knows what happened to the baby; no one knows who the baby’s father could be. Agnes is sent to a psychiatrist to find out what truly happened; when the psychiatrist meets with the Mother Superior, she finds out that the Mother Superior thinks Agnes might be touched by God – and the psychiatrist is very devoutly (no pun intended) athiest. Another play with a lot of big ideas; I think if it’d been written now, instead of thirty years ago, it might have gone a little further and been a little more hard-hitting. I liked it, though. I can see why it was scandalous. (Totally banned by the Pope, you guys! Whoo!)(Previously published as part of a longer review at Burning the Bridges)

  • Craig
    2019-04-13 15:25

    Belief..."I believe these truths to be self-evident." Truth is a construct, a social construct of mutual, clashing beliefs. Then belief defines belief, and isn't that a really bad definition? This is at the heart of AGNES OF GOD: I believe I'm good. I believe in God. I believe in guilt. But belief, as a flawed system of truth, of objective, quantifiable data, does not do justice to reality. What, then, is reality? As Mother Miriam notes, "I'm interested in [the Church] as simplicity and peace." But data is far more than simple and peaceful. Data is the drug that opens the doors of perception. But it also destroys any semblance of innocence or peace that one might WISH to be true. " one is born a saint today. We've evolved too far. We're too complicated." "What we've gained in logic we've lost in faith." Those words, from Mother Miriam. Doctor Livingstone is reduced to, "I want a miracle! Nothing less. THEN I'll leave her be." This conflict between Dr. Livingstone and Mother Miriam is a quintessential conflict, and it is quite expertly explored here within this play.

  • Neil Schleifer
    2019-04-18 20:33

    What an amazing concept: let's take an horrific event, the discovery of a dead baby inside a cloistered convent, possibly born to one of the nuns, and shroud it in the mystery of religious faith. Was this a divine birth? Was this a natural death, murder or divine intervention? Is the accused a saint or a sinner? On the outside, Agnes appears to be a total innocent. But what happens to heart-felt faith when the layers of our psyche are slowly peeled away like the skin of an onion? Guarded fiercely by her Mother Superior and questioned by her court-appointed psychiatrist, we learn of Agnes the young novitiate accused of this heinous crime. John Pielmeier draws some wonderful characters and gives them amazing dialogue to discuss things as varied as motherhood, smoking, psychotherapy and the special place in our hearts where we all believe in something.I'd recommend this as a companion piece to Peter Shaffer's EQUUS, another compelling piece that examines the issue of faith (that's lowercase faith, as in "personal beliefs" not upper-case faith, as in institutional religion).

  • Simon Fletcher
    2019-04-06 15:15

    I remember watching the Jane Fonda, Meg Tilly film 20+ years ago and being troubled by many of the themes contained within. Themes such as the meaning of belief and the power of the mind to deceive. It blecame one of those films that lodged in my subconscious, one that, even though I couldn't remember it fully, was always there as a this needs to be seen again sometime.I don't know why it came back to me resently as something I need to look at again but the thought that I have to revisit it was very strong. Having said that I knew I wanted to revisit it in a new way and sought out the play to read.Really glad I did as it is a striking play. The ending is however in retrospect a little down beat. All said though it is a great play.

  • Willow
    2019-04-14 14:20

    Fantastically well done as an audiobook. Recorded in front of a live audience. Narrated by Barbara Bain, Emily Bergl, and Harriet Harris.This book came to life in the narrators' hands. Tragic, compelling and horrifying, Agnes and Dr. Livingston's pasts were spilled out for us to scrutinize. In the description of the play, there was reference made to a deeper analysis of spiritual fundamentals, but I found this was an afterthought for me. The overlying feeling I got from reading this book was pity for the characters and contempt for a society where we allow these sorts of things to happen. If I could have given it 3 1/2 stars, that would have been more appropriate, however, I enjoyed the style of narration so much, I don't mind giving it 4.

  • Molly
    2019-04-22 17:24

    I do not understand why Pope John Paul II would ban such a wonderful play that explores Catholic theology. Pielmeier taught at American Catholic University and is well educated in theology. He does not denigrate Catholic doctrine. The play is about faith and how faith is kept or lost. In an odd casting choice, I played Dr. Livingston in "Agnes of God." The actress playing Mother Superior and the scenes between us were incendiary. I still use excerpts from this play for monologues. If you're offended by a nun strangling a baby with the umbilical cord and then throwing the baby in a trash can, the play is not for you. However, that event is not the crux of the play.

  • Joanne
    2019-04-06 16:22

    Listened to the audiobook - saw the movie years ago.Sister Agnes is found with a dead baby in her convenant wastepaper basket. She is being examined by a psychologist to determine not only her mental capacity, but to try and discover how this pregnancy could have happened in her secluded environment. Agnes' childhood was difficult and unconventional before she came to the convenant at age 17 after her mother's death. She's lead a sheltered life and sings like an angel. She truly believes God brought her the baby. Agnes of God is a complex investigation of mental health, faith and the basics of science to prove how things happened. The dialogue is very thought provoking.

  • Mary
    2019-03-25 16:30

    I suggested this play be performed at my high school and everyone was on board. It was one of our best performances and it is one of my personal favorite plays. Playing Dr. Livingstone really taught me to be open minded about religion and spirituality and to open up concerns for others. This play has so much hidden inside of it. Time needs to be taken to disect it completely. Agnes' dreams can be carfully unraveled and Livingstone's past can be analized closely. I love the ending, especially. It is up to the reader to decide. <3

  • Mark Woodland
    2019-03-30 17:32

    An excellent and disturbing play about a young nun and a psychiatrist, who meet under extreme circumstances. Difficult to talk about without revealing too much of the plot, which is best experienced as you go. Unlike a lot of plays, this one comes across very well to most readers (Shakespeare, for instance, is best SEEN, not just read). This one will really get to you. A skilled live performance will leave you with chills.

  • Sylwia (Wish Fulfillment)
    2019-04-15 18:36

    Why I Recommend Bumping This Up On Your TBR: It is thought-provoking (it questions faith!), it has a psychiatrist protagonist, it had 3 female protagonists whose storylines intersect, and the audiobook includes great acting.Why You Might Bump This Down On Your TBR: It's not the most unique story ever depicted, it's possibly triggering, and it does require a bit of thought once you're finished.

  • David Jay
    2019-03-25 16:15

    Very interesting look at science vs. faith. Three great roles for women. I think, like so many plays, some of the impact is lost in reading it, as opposed to seeing it. I've seen it performed and really loved it. I also love the movie version.

  • elissa
    2019-03-31 14:18

    LIstened to the LA Theatre Works production, which I checked out from the Tucson Public Library. Although the playwright based this play on a true story, I felt that it did not stand the test of time.

  • Val
    2019-04-13 20:24

    A brilliant little gem of a play I have been wanting to read since the 1980s. Wow. It is Catholicism but it is more than Catholicism. It is about women and faith and God and miracles and belief. I look forward to watching the movie now.

  • Cora
    2019-04-12 19:29

    I don't even remember when I read this. Somewhere in my teens. I wasn't impressed.

  • Almira
    2019-04-02 18:35

    I love this play because it is extremely well written. The rhythm of the dialogue is amazing, and the characters have great depth. It was a wonderful time in my life to portray Agnes when I graduated from college.

  • Jan Ackerson
    2019-03-30 17:23

    A cloistered nun is discovered to have given birth--very similarly to "Plain Truth", this book follows the investigation into how the pregnancy could have occurred.

  • Kaethe
    2019-04-01 19:11

    Great play with lots of drama, clever dialogue, great parts for women. Not a realistic portrayal of psychiatry, however.

  • Gina
    2019-04-05 17:19

    I listened to the audio version of this, which was excellent. I saw the movie ages ago and liked it, but I think this shorter version was more haunting.

  • Pindari N.
    2019-04-11 13:10

    Very weird… but well written, and good.

  • Matt
    2019-04-18 14:27

    Man, I keep forgetting how hard this play kicks you in the stomach.