Veritas, more ambitious, uses its 10-member cast to explore the tangled relationships within its undergraduate gay circle, as well as Harvard's harassment of them. Where Jacobson's play suffers from data overload, Richardson's often neglects factuality as it struggles to differentiate its multitude of characters while creating a period diction and ambience that unify them.
The process reveals little about the lives of these suddenly stigmatized children of privilege, partly because Richardson pushes too hard to invent stylized ways of giving their story theatrical snap. Worse, he picks villains far too enthusiastically, dumping heavy blame even on the two gay undergrads who weasel their way out of the scandal, as if kicking them long after their deaths could somehow alleviate the others' sufferings. This use of history for preachment rather than perspective turns the historian's impulse upside down, conveying, in effect, that, since right and wrong never change, history doesn't matter.