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'The Passion of the King'


Christian Theater

Jonathan Jacques as Jesus

Photo courtesy Lights Up Productions

What 'Passion' Is About:

The Passion of the King writer, director, producer and actor, Brent Grosvenor puts more than 100 people on stage (along with animals) to bring the Easter story to life.

However, The Passion is more than a musical interpretation of the final days in the life of Christ. It also attempts to expand the definition of the word “passion” beyond the suffering of the crucifixion. It also means passion in the sense of consistent effort over time.

Using vignettes from the Old Testament (Isaiah, Abraham), Passion is an effort to give historical perspective to the meaning of the events between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Riding a Trend of Christian Theater:

It might surprise some to see theater in a church, but it is a growing trend. From national conventions of the group Christians in Theater Arts to articles in the New York Times, theater as an expression of creativity in the church community is gaining notoriety.

This is the second year for the original work at the Crossroads Community Cathedral in East Hartford, Connecticut, and it is an impressive undertaking. From sets, to lighting, to staging, every effort is made to create quality theater.

Infectious Enthusiasm:

Often times such “spectacle” productions result in chaos. But Passion manages to illustrate what it must have felt like to “be” there. The several scenes where Jonathan Jacques (as Jesus) interacts with the children really deepen understanding of the “suffer the little children” Bible verses that can seem lifeless on the page.

Grosvenor's music and lyrics also give new depth to Biblical scenes. Departing from the foreboding mindset of the procession into Jerusalem as seen in Jesus Christ, Superstar, Passion's music says the crowds have no idea what awaited in just a few days: betrayal, trial, conviction and death.

The Whole Story:

As we learned from the Mel Gibson movie, The Passion of the Christ, this is a gruesome story. The Passion of the King pulls no punches. To say more would do an injustice to the hard work of the creative team. But I think most will be amazed at the staging of the flogging of Jesus and his crucifixion.

The Passion of the King is an ambitious project that attempts in one evening to be sweeping and personal. It gives historical perspective, unflinchingly portrays the weakness of most who followed Jesus, yet presents the message of redemption and hope that is at the heart of the story.

Show Times and Tickets:

Show times and tickets are available online through Crossroads Community Cathedral .

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