The Christians, by Lucas Hnath, explores difficult questions surrounding faith and revelation, community and personal responsibility. Set in a contemporary American mega-church, fractured by dispute over salvation and damnation, the play operates as a series of contradictory arguments with no single argument deemed the winner. Not unlike any family break-up, whether the family is nuclear or ecclesiastical. Playwright Hnath, who grew up in such a church community and whose mother was a minister, states, “A church is a place where people go to see something that is very difficult to see. A place where the invisible is – at least for a moment – made visible. The theater can be that too.”
Remarkable in form and content, The Christians features a large onstage gospel choir. This separate two-credit class will meet twice a week (Wednesday and Friday evenings 7-9 with increased commitment from 1:00 to-5:00 on either October 6 or 13 and during performance and tech weeks (Oct.23-29) for the choir. Participants will need to commit to all rehearsals and performances to receive class credit. If there is interest, the choir may continue to rehearse after the play towards an independent concert. Auditions will be held separately for the choir.
The 90-minute play will perform soon after Long Weekend (Oct. 26-29). This 2-credit represents the work both in and out of rehearsal necessary to build a successful performance and/or collaboration in production. Rehearsals, tech, and performance, and a reflection essay constitute students’ commitment.
The Christians is accessible electronically through Crossett Library, as it was published in American Theatre magazine, September 2014.