cast-of-the-anarchist-l-r-cindy-pastorius-mary-grace-weir-photo-credit-kieran-potter_origKieran Potter

Windsor’s Post Productions’ recent staging of David Mamet’s The Anarchist at The Shadowbox Theatre was a riveting and thought-provoking exploration of remorse, redemption, and the power dynamics between two complex women. This intense 90-minute show, directed by Michael K. Potter, delved deep into the psyches of its characters, brilliantly portrayed by Mary Grace Weir and Cindy Pastorius.

The Anarchist, one of Mamet’s lesser-known works, tells the story of Cathy (Pastorius), a woman imprisoned for her involvement in a political protest that turned deadly 35 years ago. Now approaching senior citizenship, Cathy believes she has changed and seeks parole. Standing in her way is the prison’s warden, Ann (Weir), who must be convinced of Cathy’s genuine remorse and rehabilitation.


Mamet’s script deviates from his signature style, adopting a more formal tone and diving into a higher than usual language grade, providing deep philosophical dialogues. This approach would have made the play much harder for the actors to pull off.

Pastorius delivered an exceptional and passionate performance as Cathy. A veteran actor with a string of memorable roles in Windsor theatre productions, Pastorius brought depth and nuance to her portrayal of a woman seeking redemption. Her Cathy was fiery, independent, and introspective, hinting at the person she was before her conviction while conveying the growth and change she has undergone during her imprisonment.

Weir was equally impressive as Ann. Weir was cautious, perceptive, and sharp, a woman who has made a career of dealing with deceptive and dangerous individuals. Through subtle cues and masterful delivery, Weir conveyed the complexities of Ann’s beliefs and values, adding layers to the character that were never explicitly stated in the script, including one nuance that Potter added to the end of the show that was unexpected and brilliant.

The dynamics between Pastorius and Weir were electric, ranking among the best performances of a duo on a Windsor stage in recent years. Their interactions crackled with tension and subtext, as the two women navigated the treacherous waters of their relationship, each seeking to gain the upper hand while grappling with their own doubts and convictions.

Director Michael K. Potter’s dedication and skill was evident throughout the production. He skillfully guided his actors to bring out the subtleties and nuances of Mamet’s script, creating an engaging experience that left the audience both emotionally invested and intellectually stimulated.

The Shadowbox Theatre provided an intimate setting for this intense drama, allowing the audience to feel fully immersed in the world of the play. The minimalist set design and focused lighting served to heighten the tension and keep the attention squarely on the actors and their powerful performances.

Ultimately, The Anarchist leaves us with the unsettling realization that all ideologies, whether religious, political, or legal, rest on a foundation of faith and are therefore inherently dangerous. Post Productions once again demonstrated their commitment to presenting bold, provocative works that push the boundaries of what is possible on stage.


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