Bruce J. Robinson
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INNOCENCE is a two-act drama suggested by the death of Rebecca Schaeffer -- the lovely, young actress featured on the TV series MY SISTER SAM. The play revolves around the murder trial of 29 year-old Wynn Pohlmann.

Although the show centers on the courtroom itself, it opens to a number of highly theatrical arenas. They include Wynn's twisted psyche and his bizarre version of both reality and the set of ROOM TO GROW.

ROOM TO GROW is the apocryphal series that starred Denny Cole -- the young girl about whom Wynn became obsessed and whose murder is the reason for the trial. The other two main characters are Emily Tuscano (the DA) and Raymond Kaplan (the defense lawyer). Despite their difference in personal style and conviction, Kaplan finds himself justifiably attracted to the brilliant DA. Wynn, Emily, and Ray are three roles that provide three able actors with rare challenges.

Episodes include examination of experts, the young victim's mother, and Wynn's brother. Along the way, both lawyers take a journey that allows them to acknowledge the possibility that the hard-held beliefs with which they entered the trial may have been wrong.

INNOCENCE attempts to put the audience behind the eyes of this disturbed young man. It explores whether the murder was choice or compulsion. And it grapples with this question: if the murderer were forced to take this unctuous action, can he be held responsible? Should he be punished for something that he couldn't control? Further; if you can't assign responsibility, how can you run a society?

In a larger sense, it examines this huge issue: how much responsibility can anyone claim for anything? INNOCENCE is an entertaining show that will lead audience members to provide their own answers.

It won the Norris Theatre New Play Prize of 1994. Staged reading in the LORT D theatre in Palos Verdes, CA. Staged reading by the Abingdon Theatre.
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