AGNES OF GOD Comes to Fort Salem Theater in March

Performances run from March 1 to March 10, 2024.

By: Jan. 25, 2024
AGNES OF GOD Comes to Fort Salem Theater in March

Fort Salem Theater has announced the kickoff of its highly anticipated 2024 season with the gripping drama "Agnes of God" written by John Pielmeier. Scheduled to run from March 1 to March 10, 2024, this production promises an intimate and immersive in-the-round experience in the Cabaret Room, setting the stage for a thought-provoking and captivating theatrical journey.

Directed by Fort Salem’s Artistic and Executive Director Kyle West, the play revolves around court-appointed psychiatrist Dr. Martha Livingstone, portrayed by the remarkable Emmy Award winner, Benita Zahn. Joining her on stage are accomplished actress Siri Allison as Mother Miriam Ruth and the exceptionally talented Dorothy Slim Van Pelt in the role of Agnes. The play debuted on stage at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in 1979, but is perhaps best known as the Golden Globe winning film, which featured Jane Fonda, Anne Bancroft and Meg Tilly.

"We are delighted to launch our 2024 season with this moving play on our cabaret stage," shared Kyle West. "This space was originally the chapel built in 1882 and still has its original stained glass windows, providing a perfect backdrop for this drama. The incredible 3-woman cast is also a match made in heaven, pun intended, for this thought-provoking production."

"Agnes of God" unfolds as Dr. Martha Livingstone is summoned to a convent to assess the sanity of young postulant Sister Agnes, who is accused of murdering her newborn. Mother Mirium Ruth determinedly keeps young Agnes from the doctor, further arousing Livingstone’s suspicions and leading to a re-examination of faith and the power of love. The play builds to a dramatic and compelling climax, exploring profound questions about life and belief.

In the role of Dr. Martha Livingstone, Benita Zahn brings not only her Emmy-Award winning talent, but also over four decades of news anchoring (WNYT) and professional acting. A certified health and wellness coach, Benita has recently transitioned her career, making guest appearances in theater, film, and TV, including a recent role in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” on Amazon Prime. A proud member of Actors Equity Association, Benita's diverse theatrical background includes performances with Park Playhouse, Capital Repertory Theater, and various independent films. At Fort Salem Theater, she has appeared in “Steel Magnolias,” “They’re Playing Our Song,” and “Getting My Act Together and Taking it on the Road.” She is also well known for her performances with the “The Singing Anchors.” 

Playing Mother Miriam Ruth, Siri Allison, a Salem resident, started her acting journey at the age of 12. With a notable career in New York City, Siri joined two repertory companies in the 1980s and performed off-Broadway in productions like "The Second Man," "Honor Bright," "Tartuffe," and "Romeo and Juliet." Locally, Siri is a member of the Story Circle of the Capital District, and her extensive repertoire includes performances with Hubbard Hall, The Footlighters, and the annual touring group “Whispering Bones.” At Fort Salem Theater, she has appeared in “The Savannah Disputation” (Margaret), “Grease” (Miss Lynch), and “Footloose” (Betty Blast), and recently assistant directed "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

Starring as Agnes is Dorothy Slim Van Pelt, who made her stage debut only 2 years ago as the title character in Fort Salem Theater's "The Diary of Anne Frank." For her performance, Nippertown Magazine raved, "You could not want more from someone playing Anne than Dorothy Slim Van Pelt. The theater and this production are blessed by her presence." Dorothy is a senior at Greenwich High School, applying to the top theater schools in the country to pursue her craft. She was also recently seen in Fort Salem Theater's “Steel Magnolias” (Annelle) and “A Midsummer Night's Dream” (Hermia). Her other stage work includes “Twelfth Night” (Antonio), and a script she co-created and performed that advocated for Social Justice among climate change and the BLM movement. Dorothy spent two semesters studying Meisner and Stanislavski techniques for monologuing at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center School of the Arts.

Joining the aforementioned Kyle West as director are Fort Salem Theater Artistic Associates Courtnie Harrington and John Norine Jr. as Production Stage Manager and Technical Director, respectively.

Tickets for "Agnes of God" are currently on sale at However, due to the intimate in-the-round setting in Fort Salem Theater's Cabaret Room, seating is limited. Don't miss the chance to witness this powerful and thought-provoking production.