County Seat Players find miracles in ‘Lilies of the Field’
By Dyana Bagby Staff Writer
“Lilies of the Field” is a play about faith, hope and the love and trust we can find in other people regardless of race or culture.
And that’s the message Lawrenceville resident Maggie Gasior fell in love with when she decided she wanted to direct this play for the County Seat Players.
“You can take this production spiritually or morally,” she said, “but everyone will walk away with something.”
The play is about Homer Smith (played by Gabriel Rincon-Mora of Atlanta), a Southern Baptist and U.S. Army veteran who decides to tour the West after his discharge.
He happens upon a group of German nuns in New Mexico and notices they need help with the farm house they are living in. Smith volunteers his service, thinking he will be paid for his work.
But Mother Marthe (played by Debbie Gallogly) has been praying for someone to build a chapel for her and she believes Homer is the answer to her prayers.
Sidney Poitier won an Oscar for his portrayal as Homer Smith in the movie made based on the play. This was the first Oscar awarded to a black actor.
And Gasior said she was also intrigued by the relationship between Homer and the nuns — so vastly different because of race and culture — but how they came together in the end.
“At the very end, Homer knows he was led to the nuns,” said Gasior, who works for the Lawrenceville YMCA.
“This play is about everyday struggles and how if we ‘let go and let God’ and don’t struggle, then life is better,” she said.
For Rincon-Mora, a native of Venezuela and a professor of electrical engineering at Georgia Tech, the part of Homer Smith was appealing because of the character’s sense of nobility.
“Homer has a chip on his shoulder, but there is a sense of honor in what he does,” Rincon-Mora said.
“Overall, this play has a message of faith, hope and human relationships. We are all different, whether by nationality or race or culture. But we can all relate to each other as family,” he added.
Phil Miles of Lawrenceville plays the part of Father Gomez, the moderator of the production who explains to the audience the miracle that occurs.
“The truth in this is more amazing than any fiction that can be imagined,” Miles said.