Some of the script's character formulations are perhaps made a little too explicit: Bill Reynolds's tamped-down fear, as revealed by Laura in the third act, will come as no surprise to anyone who's been paying attention. A modern audience might also take issue with the treatment of homosexuality by even the sympathetic characters. But more important and more relevant, in USM's superb production, are the play's intimate, interconnected dynamics of trust and fear, confidence and insecurity. For real tolerance, it suggests, there can be no bystanders.
Megan Grumbling can be reached at email@example.com.
TEA AND SYMPATHY | by Robert Anderson | Directed by William Steele | Produced by the University of Southern Maine's Department of Theatre, in Gorham | through November 15 | 207.780.5151
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