Last week, the curtain rose on another season at Bluff City Theater with our debut of A. S. Freeman’s powerful production of David Stanley Ford’s The Interrogation of Nathan Hale.
History has a way of over-simplifying events and presenting complicated and messy affairs as summary headlines (#Nathanhalehero). But history is never simple and the conflicting perspectives, motivations and emotions that lead up to momentous events all contribute to a messy and convoluted route to resolution. It is that messy route that the playwright explores in his story of the final hours of 21-year-old Nathan Hale as he awaits execution in the tent of British captain John Montresor.
Over the course of 90-minutes, St. Louis theater veteran Alan Knoll as Montresor, picks and pokes at the psyche of his captive, Hale, played by BCT first-timer Spencer Sickmann. What does he believe in? Can he believe in anything? With a three-to-one British advantage in force, why is Hale still committed to a lost cause? What dark secret is Hale running from?
In this way, The Interrogation of Nathan Hale is as much a study of human frailty as it is a historical narrative of what would have been a footnote in history, were it not for Montresor’s efforts to deliver Hale’s letter to his family and to share Hale’s famous dying declaration.
Knoll and Sickmann create mesmerizing chemistry onstage in a real-life pairing that mirrors the story- experienced veteran and idealistic youth. It’s a story as old as history and as it unfolds, it’s impossible to not see the parallels with the temptations of Christ.
Audiences are loving this show and you will, too. Whether you’re a fan of history or just great theater, The Interrogation of Nathan Hale will not disappoint.
Performances this week run Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee performance on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Buy tickets online at www.eventshannibal. com or call 573-719-3226.
Adults $27 Youth $15 This play is rated PG, not suitable for younger children.
The Interrogation of Nathan Hale by Captain John Montresor is supported in part through a generous contribution from Dr. Curtis and Debra Burton.