Blackfriars Repertory Theatre



The Story of St. Therese of Lisieux

Written and Directed by Fr. PETER JOHN CAMERON, O.P.

Music Composition & Direction by CHRISTOPHER VATH


Dicapo Opera Theatre

184 E. 76 St., NYC


October 17 – 26, 2003



Instrumentalist ROBERT CARTOLANO





Young Therese/Visitor – Julia Buerle

The Demon – Kenneth Genuard

Sister St. Vincent de Paul – Valentina Patrick

Sister Teresa of St. Augustine – Virginia Clancy

Sister Aimee – Judeth DeMott

Sister Marie of the Angels – Catherine Schwarz

Pauline Martin – Rita Simmonds

Mother Marie de Gonzague – Cathryn Michelini

Henry Pranzini/Father Alexis Prou – John Sacco

Father Faure – Ed Cipot

Therese Martin – Naomi Flansburg

Celine Martin Christine Drayer

Marie Martin – Maureen Dowdell

Leonie Martin – Anna Bredikhina

Louis Martin – R.S. Call

Canon Delatroette/Pope Leo XIII – Christian Kauffmann

Father Maurice Reverony – Casimir F. Patrick

Bishop Flavien Hugonin – Kevin McGraw

The Countess – Jean Hickey

Sister Marie of the Trinity – Erin Clancy

Dr. De Corniere – Kevin Schwab

In an ambitious two-act play that runs nearly three hours called THE SACRAMENT OF MEMORY, playwright Fr. Peter John Cameron, O.P. endeavors to convey the unlikely story of the woman who was born Therese Martin, left her father to become a Carmelite nun at the age of fifteen, and eventually came to be known to the world as "The Little Flower." Living a short but apparently significant life, St. Therese’s daily acts of love have become her legacy.

THE SACRAMENT OF MEMORY follows Therese from 1877 until her death, at 24, in 1897. In this biographical work about the brief life of the woman who would come to spread her word internationally, if posthumously, we hear much about her unique and lasting gifts, about her mission to love, and about her early calling. We hear about it all, but as presented, it is hard to find, in dramatic structure, those admittedly elusive qualities that have made this woman so beloved. Part of the trouble is that St. Therese gave the gift of her words through her written account of her life. She shared the inner story. The audience experiences her here as a physical presence, amongst other people, but are never introduced in any meaningful way to the mind that lay inside.

Too bad, really, because the production is in possession of many other strong qualities that render it a viable piece of theatrical achievement. Perhaps best left to the true believers, those who know and love Therese so well that her inner voice is nearly as clear as their own, this particular work, THE SACRAMENT OF MEMORY, is geared toward the knowledgeable audience, and not the novice.

- Kessa De Santis -

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