Student of Justice

In FST’s Stage III production of Kunstler, audiences get a look into the real life and career of self-described “radical lawyer” and Civil Rights activist William Kunstler, who often took unorthodox approaches to the pursuit of justice. Anique Clements plays Kerry, a brilliant law student who objects to Kunstler’s appearance at her college campus and is determined to confront him.

We sat down with Anique to discuss her biggest challenge in show, her mental health advocacy, and the relentless pursuit of justice.

Kunstler plays in FST’s Bowne Lab and has been extended through March 15. For tickets and more information, click here.

In your opinion, what lies at the heart of Kunstler?

It is a play about passion and how to use that passion to pursue your goals.

What is challenging about this show?

For me as an actor, the biggest challenge was using active listening. Sam Mossler (who plays William Kunstler) is such a dynamic actor that he makes that task much easier. Even though I’m not audibly responding to what Sam is saying and doing, I still feel as though we are having a dialogue. It’s just all internal.

Do you have any preshow rituals to help you get in the right headspace for Kunstler?

I always do a pre-show fist bump with Sam! And then, I grumble a bit at invisible student protesters, and I’m off!

Kunstler 15
Anique Clements. Photo by Matthew Holler.

What is Kerry’s role in Kunstler?

I see her as a proxy for the audience. She gets to ask some of the questions that the audience would like to ask him, such as, How did you go from the Chicago Seven and the Barrington’s to representing John Gotti?

In that sense, I see her as a symbol for larger themes and ideas, but she’s just one girl. When I started working on creating Kerry, I looked at her relationship with Kunstler and what she says about herself. Audiences can relate to Kerry’s journey – she’s experiencing that old phrase “Never Meet Your Heroes.”

How do you relate to Kerry?

I love Kerry, she’s so cute. Because she’s young, she’s forming her ideas about the world. She is very smart and idealistic, and I think she stands for a lot of young people who are also idealistic and become disillusioned when they see people they look up to not taking the right paths.

What do you hope audiences take away from this production?

I hope people are emboldened to question authority and societal norms. I hope the play instills a feeling of hope, and reminds them that the relentless pursuit of justice and good can result in actual change.

Kunstler plays in FST’s Bowne Lab and has been extended through March 15. For tickets and more information, click here.