The Children’s Hour

The Children’s Hour
Lionheart Theatre
through May 21, 2017

Director Allan Dodson tells why this play by Lillian Hellman, which was created in 1935, may still be so relevant in today’s world.  For in this play, a couple of women who are teachers at a girls school are the subject of some malicious gossip which ruins their lives and infects the lives of those around them.

Are we, as a community, still entrenched in stories about politicians and celebrities?  As we say in the broadcasting industry, If it Bleeds, It Leads.  And nothing much seems to really change in the world when hatred, distrust and prejudices still survive.

Martha (Brittany Walker) and Karen (Jilian Walzer) run a small boarding school and they live in the home where the school is run.  One of the girls, Mary (Hunter Lanius) is a real bitch and seems to hate everybody, and use everybody.  She blackmails another student, Rosalie (Margaret Thomas) into aiding and abetting her accusations of lesbian engagement twixt the teachers; albeit one of them is already engaged and planning to wed her fiancé in near future.

Being a small town, the news hits the streets and spreads like a plague.  The teachers even go to court claiming tort damages for the slander.  But, the trial doesn’t go right.  Even Martha’s aunt Lily (Christine Trent) keeps her distance, even though she might have been able to help them win their case.  It’s another one of those situations where you might be able to help but you are going to get injured if you try.

With a cast of 14 players, this is a pretty big production for this local theatre; but they do it quite well.  The set by Tanya Caldwell works very easily, and the action moves along with no problem.  It is not one for young kids, despite the title.  For it is rife with anger, manipulation and homophobia.  Lionheart is right off Norcross Square, easy free parking and even nice treats at intermission.