In 2004 I attended a dramatic solo recitation of the Gospel of John, in its entirety, by Brad Sherrill at St. John United Methodist Church. What an experience that was! A spare stage with a few key props provided the background for bringing this Gospel alive. And it’s going to happen again!
Progressive churches are bringing Brad Sherrill, a professional actor, to Alaska for seven performances of PROPHETS, a work premiered in Atlanta in March of this year that combines the spoken word message of the Old Testament Prophets – Isaiah, Jeremiah and Amos – enhanced by high multi-media.
Sherrill, a twenty-year veteran and artistic associate of the Georgia Shakespeare Festival, has gained wide recognition for his solo performance of the entire text of the gospel of John. Over the past ten years he has performed this work over 600 times to a combined audience of over 180,000. Venues have included theatres in Atlanta, Chicago, Washington, DC, Toronto and off-Broadway in NYC, the great cathedrals in the U.K., and hundreds of churches. [img_assist|nid=153305|title=The Prophets – Brad Sherrill|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=350|height=376]
When and Where
Evening performances (7PM) will be held at Central Lutheran Church (October 27 & 28), First Presbyterian Church, Wasilla (October 29), St. John Lutheran, Palmer (October 30), St. John United Methodist (October 31), and Soldotna United Methodist Church (November 1). A Sunday matinee (2PM) will be held at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church on October 31.
Tickets are available from the churches – Adults $15.00, Youth/Seniors/Military $10.00.
Proceeds from the tour will benefit both local charities and church-related international relief causes.
Walt Hays Talks About the Performances
I asked Walt Hays, a retired United Methodist minister and development officer, who believes that progressive (mainline) churches can have a real impact when they work together, to comment on these performances. During his 46 years in Alaska, Walt has coordinated a number of ecumenical and community projects that have raised significant funds for charities and international relief.
Walt stated, “We had a great response to ‘the gospel of john’ tour with Brad Sherrill 2004. Audiences in the seven performances were amazed at Sherrill’s ability to bring all 20,000 words of the fourth gospel to life in a powerful way. After the first two of the seven performances, there was a great “buzz’ and we had to add an additional matinee to accommodate the demand. That tour had a combined attendance of 1385 and raised $5,450 for church-related international relief causes.
I trust we will have a similar response to PROPHETS. This new production brings the timeless message of Isaiah, Amos and Jeremiah to life. This great poetry and imagery is the very bedrock of our faith traditions with its message of compassion for the poor and the mandate that God’s people work for peace and justice. The performance is designed to let the words of the Old Testament Prophets speak for themselves – there is no interpretation or sermonizing. Too often, we hear scripture in snippets – a verse or two as we read a devotional guide or a dozen or so verses in the Sunday scripture reading. This 95 minute experience will be different. Those attending will hear the words of the great Prophets – enhanced by high quality multi-media images – with a message that is sorely needed in our turbulent times”
I’ll be there to see this performance and share my perceptions with readers in this blog. Don’t wait too long to get your tickets. You won’t want to miss this!