Back Alley brings “Maundy Thursday,” a memory play about Jesus’ final days, for one weekend
Back Alley invites you to attend “Maundy Thursday,” a moving memory play about the final days of Jesus of Nazareth as told by people closest to him. This production has a limited, one-weekend run with shows set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 29 through Saturday, March 31, with a 2:30 p.m. matinee on Saturday, March 31.
Performances will be held at the Historic Mars Theatre, 117 N. Chattanooga St., Lafayette. Visit www. BAPshows.com or call 706- 621-2870 to purchase your tickets.
Set in First Century Palestine (Israel), the world is in turmoil. The Roman Empires rules over all of Judea, and the Jewish People are divided. Out from all the violence and uncertainty comes Jesus Christ, who claims to be the Son of God, and preaches about love and peace, and the Kingdom of God.
Now, three years later, it’s the eve of Passover and tensions are critically high after Christ’s popularity and message has threatened to shake up the natural political order.
“This is not a living Last Supper often performed throughout churches, but a whole examination of the events, players, and context leading up to and directly after the Crucifixion of Jesus,” explains Kaylee Smith, director of the show. “The actors will perform and recount memories from several key moments in Jesus’ ministry, including insights from Nicodemus, Mary of Bethany, The Woman at the Well, a Roman soldier, and the Twelve Disciples, each bringing a unique perspective or lens on their experience with Jesus.”
As a memory play, each character investigates their own humanity: what it would be like to be a follower of Christ during this historically turbulent time, and how those stories echo much of the tension in our modern world.
Smith adds: “What we’ve discovered is that Jerusalem during the First Century A.D. is not all that different then it is today.”
The production is not strictly a scriptural reading, Smith notes, and allows for the actors to explore the historical, social, and personal aspects of their character, as well as the triumphs, questions, and decisions behind their actions.
“I think it’s impossible to come to the story of Christ without our own cultural assumptions,” Smith adds. “Even a knowledge as basic as knowing how the story ends with the resurrection and ascension tends to diminish the emotions that people must have felt Thursday night of Holy Week. Our goal is to make you forget you’ve heard the story, and come to it with fresh eyes, and to hear it dramatically rather than through a church service, and to consider the setting and history alongside the beloved story of Christ. We want to add a rich new layer to a well-told message.”
“We want you to walk away understanding how it may have felt to be an ordinary human witnessing an extraordinary event, with limited human perspective, and only able understanding a few things their teacher was trying to tell them.
“At the same time having the knowledge of being plotted against from within by one of their friends, to being hunted by leaders of their faith, the group of people surrounding Christ, without a doubt, were afraid for their lives.
“I think we forget there was a tremendous amount of fear, turmoil, and anxiety. The fact they fell asleep in Gethsemane, tells us that they expected a very different night than what occurred. No one knew what was going to happen next, or what the ultimate outcome of Christ’s ministry would be. To me, that has always been a very affirming thing to acknowledge, that one minute these men ran, hid, and protected themselves, and then forty days later, they were willing to be martyred to fulfill the Great Commission. That said, this is not a religious ceremony, there is no partaking of communion, or any altar calls, or a sermon, it is a stage play, and our actors simply tell the story.”
Maundy Thursday’s run time is approximately 2.5 hours, including a 15-minute intermission.
The cast of Back Alley Production’s presentation of “Maundy Thursday” includes, from left: Jesus (Aaron Rapier), John (Jeremiah Rapier), Nathaniel (Keegan Westra), Peter (Zachary Green), Matthew (Alex Walker), James The Lesser (Caedmon Womack),...