TheatreWorks’ ‘Church’ tests expectations of believers and non-believers alike

October 22, 2011 3:48 PM

Does your brain swim around all the time in a fish bowl of worry? Or this happens only some of the time. You are stressed out in the day doing e-mails and going to meetings, but you can relax at night before morning comes again, so you are happy in a machine like way. But any of those things which make you happy could be taken away in a moment.–your health, your children, your job, your looks. So what is the answer? The answer is faith. The answer is Church, a play by Young Jean Lee, at THEATREWORKS October 27-November 6.Church is an unlikely play by any standards, since it comes in the form of a church service in many ways not unlike what happens on Sunday mornings in hundreds of churches in Colorado Springs. Four young ministers preach and talk, and there is some singing. The messages are earnest, vivid and strong. But these are not the teachings of actual ministers -they are the words one of America’s leading avant garde playwrights, spoken by actors, producing a religious and theatrical experience like no other.

Young Jean Lee is the daughter of evangelical parents. She hated going to church. At college she declared herself an atheist. Yet she decided to write a play that would make Christianity attractive and useful to her audience. In Church she is preaching to the unconverted, she is preaching to herself. Her lessons console, provoke, excite and disturb. Like all good theatre, and good church services, the play wakes its audience up, and leaves them in a different world. You will have to learn for yourself–but you won’t regret coming to Church.

THEATREWORKS has assembled a dynamic cast to spread the word of Young Jean Lee. Mare Trevathan, Lija Fishier, and Shannan Steele are the three female preachers; Kevin Landis is the Reverend Jose. The production is directed by Christy Montour-Larson. There will be additional surprise guest appearances nightly.

But the most distinguished guest at this production will be the playwright herself. Young Jean Lee will discuss her life and art, and her religious experience, at the Prologue lectures series in the Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theater on October 30 at 2:30 p.m. The talk is free and open to the public.

Church plays 27 October-3 November in the Dusty Loo Bon Vivant Theater in University Hall at the UCCS campus. Performances are Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. There are 2:00 p.m. Saturday matinees on October 29 and November 5, and 4:00 p.m. Sunday performances October 30 and November 6. Seated is limited and reservations are strongly advised. General Admission tickets are $30. For reservations and further information, go online to THEATREWORKS at or call the box office at (719) 255-3232

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