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2009-2010 Theatre Productions


 

Caucasian Chalk Circle

By Bertolt Brecht

Directed by Professor Claire Slavovsky

Music by Justin Johns '10

"Governor’s Wife" performed by Janel Corbett '10 (SIP)

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Inspired by Chinese theatre, Brecht has based his play on the Chinese folk tale with the same name. With echoes of Solomon judging who is the true mother, the play explores love, justice and the nature of war.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

The Man Born to Be King

By Dorothy Sayers

Directed by Katie Jenkins '12

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Several scenes from Sayers’ beloved BBC radio drama presenting the life of Christ.

 

 

 


 

 

Lucifer

By Joost van den Vondel

Directed by Professor Camille Hallstrom

"Lucifer" performed by Kate Sarafolean '10 (SIP)

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A rarely performed work of Reformation-era drama that explores the rise and fall of Lucifer, brightest of Heaven’s angels. Possibly one of the sources for Milton’s Paradise Lost.

 

 

DIRECTOR'S NOTES: Even angels long to look into these things... 1 Peter 1:12

 

There is of course no actual character in the Old or New Testament named “Lucifer.” The word which means “light-bearer” appears in the Latin Vulgate and then later the King James translation of Isa. 14:12-- a passage in which the fall of a Babylonian King, dubbed a “morning-star” (Lt: lucifer) is described.* Some early Christian writers thought that this Isaiah passage referred to the fall of Satan from Heaven; thus, over history has developed the correlation of the name “Lucifer” with the person of Satan.

 

Neither is there any great detail in the scriptures about just how the fall of Satan from Heaven occurred. Jesus says that he saw it happen (Lk. 10:18). Rev. 12 speaks of a war in which Michael and his angels fought a dragon and his angels. Team Dragon (one third of the angels/stars of heaven) lost and were flung to earth. And that's about it for the account of Satan's fall.

 

So where did the story, as we find it in the play, come from? Partly it resembles a myth of the angels' fall found in pre-Christian apocryphal literature (e.g. The Book of Enoch.) There, because Satan contrives “to make his throne... resemble 'My power on high,'” God hurls him and his angels down to continually fly in the air above the abyss. We see possible Muslim influence too: when Allah commanded all of the angels to bow down to Adam, proud, jealous Iblis/Satan refused, seeing Adam as inferior, for he was made from clay while Iblis was of fire. To this mix add the Book of Enoch notion that some antediluvian angels flamed with lust for human woman. All of this playwright Vondel then sews nicely up with the timeless motif of an elder brother (Angeldom) grieving and jealous when the Father loves a younger son (Mankind).

 

One sees C.S. Lewis' awareness of such literary traditions in The Screwtape Letters – his well-known epistolary pointers sent by a senior demon to his-tempter-in-training nephew.

 

Humans are amphibians-- half spirit and half animal. The Enemy's [God's] determination to produce such a revolting hybrid was one of the things that determined Our Father [Satan] to withdraw his support from Him.... When the creation of man [this animal, this thing begotten in a bed] was first mooted and when, even at that stage, the Enemy freely confessed that he foresaw a certain episode about a Cross, Our Father very naturally sought an interview and asked for an explanation. The Enemy gave no reply except to produce the cock-and-bull story about disinterested love which He has been circulating ever since. This Our Father naturally could not accept. He implored the Enemy to lay His cards on the table, and gave Him every opportunity. He admitted that he felt a real anxiety to know the secret; the Enemy replied “I wish with all my heart that you did.” It was, I imagine, at this stage in the interview that Our Father's disgust at such an unprovoked lack of confidence caused him to remove himself an infinite distance from the Presence with a suddenness which has given rise to the ridiculous enemy story that he was forcibly thrown out of Heaven.

 

This passage comically speaks of Satan's “anxiety to know” the reason behind God's decrees. But the idea of angels longing to understand things beyond their ken is seriously mentioned in the 1Peter passage above. Likewise in the play, Gabriel tells Lucifer that certain mysteries will only be understood “when first shall pass a lineage of Earth-born generations.” And that “when God as man shall have become, He shall this book of His own mysteries, now sealed with seven seals, Himself unseal.” But until that time, the Angel Chorus will “with longing count the centuries till [God's] promised Mercy” finally appears.

 

In our effort to produce this complex and difficult show, the cast and crew of Lucifer have had to depend very heavily on that promised Mercy. We pray that our efforts will in some way be a conduit of that same Mercy to our friends and neighbors in the audience, as we “frail Eve's offspring” wait, together with the angels, for God “the pristine bloom to pining- Nature [to] restore.”

 

Soli Deo Gloria
CJH

 

*Incidentally, “lucifer/light-bringer”also is the Latin equivalent of the Greek word phosphoros, used as a title of Christ in 2Pet 1:19, corresponding to the name "bright and Morning Star" in Rev. 22:16, a name Jesus calls Himself. Who knew?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Niada

Written & Directed by Alysha McCullough '10 (SIP)

Music by Justin Johns '10

"Governor’s Wife" performed by Janel Corbett '10 (SIP)

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Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, The Little Mermaid. After she becomes human, Merin learns that real love is sacrifice.