Fringe 2019 Review: 'Leviticus'


Levi Nolan is an effervescent, empathetic 17-year-old whose two greatest loves in life are God and her girlfriend Elsie. As a precocious lesbian who came out of the closet in seventh grade, Levi has always felt accepted by her liberal Christian denomination. But when she tries to become a youth leader ministering to middle-schoolers, her beloved mentor begins citing Old Testament Bible verses preaching against abomination, forcing Levi to re-evaluate everything she believed about herself and her religion.

As a deeply personal drama that touches on issues important to LGBTQ+ youth, Leviticus could have easily have devolved into a well-meaning polemic, but 19-year-old writer-director Ciara Hannon possesses more maturity than many playwrights twice her age. Instead of a heavy-handed homily about the dark side of faith, her script — which was inspired by real-life incidents — smartly shows how the language of love can be insidiously manipulated to generate an internalized self-loathing that burns deeper than any fire-and-brimstone sermon.

Hannon has a sharp ear for the way adolescents actually talk, and her age-appropriate actors deliver her dialogue with emotional honesty far beyond their years. The script’s final scenes feel underdeveloped — there’s a heartbreaking climax, but little sense of resolution, leaving us wanting to learn more about the characters — and some unnecessary set changes slow the momentum. Novice missteps aside, Leviticus is a thought-provoking hymn to our common humanity that offers no easy answers, revealing its author as a promising talent worth keeping an eye on.


JC Theatre Company
Orlando FL Yellow
Ages 13 and up
60 minutes
Saturday, May 18th 12:00 PM
Sunday, May 19th 4:00 PM
Saturday, May 25th 11:45 AM
Sunday, May 26th 1:30 PM

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.