- This event has passed.
April 18 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm$12
PASSION PLAY “CORPUS CHRISTI” TO BE PERFORMED THREE TIMES DURING HOLY WEEK
“Corpus Christi,” a passion play by Terrence McNally, will be performed three times during Holy Week in the sanctuary at Table of Hope MCC, 156 S. Kansas. The play’s story parallels the New Testament’s: the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus. The Christ figure is named Joshua, born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas, in the early 1950s. Joshua, who is gay, leaves Corpus Christi to find a more accepting environment and gathers a group of disciples with his message of love and tolerance. The play is rated R for language, simulated violence and adult themes.
Church and theatre have always had a close relationship, said Shaun-Michael Morse, director of the production. “Passion plays have been performed since the 14th century, a great many in churches.” The play’s author used this traditional form to address a larger issue. In “Corpus Christi” one of the lines God speaks to the Jesus figure is “all men are divine.”
“When Matthew Shepard was murdered in 1998 and tied to a fence, McNally felt people needed to be reminded of this truth. Whether we are gay, straight, other-abled, an immigrant, male or female, we are all made in the image of God. We are all divine.
“Speaking and living this truth into the world has consequences,” Morse said. “This is one of the reasons Jesus was put to death.
“Growing up I was told that the Jesus story could never belong to me because I was gay. McNally reminds us that Jesus belongs to all of us. He belongs to all of us because he is all of us.”
Why present this play at this time?
“There is nothing else at this point in history that could begin the conversation about the radical inclusivity of Jesus during his lifetime,” said Jackie Carter, pastor of Table of Hope. “Jesus stood against a coercive political system that didn’t reflect the spiritual breadth he came to represent.
“Perhaps the play can open the door for adults to discuss ways to follow Jesus that are completely different from our current times.”
“Corpus Christi” begins at 7 p.m., April 18-20, in observance of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. Doors open at 6:30. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at the door or reserved by calling the church office at 316-267-1852.