Winged Ox Players to Present “The Christians”

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Winged Ox Players “The Christians” cast (L to R): Richard Olson Walter, Danica Delois,          Russell D Lee, Adam Hughes, and Norma DeJoy.
Winged Ox Players “The Christians” cast (L to R): Richard Olson Walter, Danica Delois, Russell D Lee, Adam Hughes, and Norma DeJoy.

Article Contributed by
Squirrel Hill Consulting

What happens when a local pastor begins to doubt the reality of eternal damnation and preaches a sermon about it? The resulting congregational havoc is the subject of “The Christians”, a contemporary drama by playwright Lucas Hnath, which will be presented by the Winged Ox Players the first two weekends in April (Friday and Saturday April 1st and 2nd and 8th and 9th) at 7:30 p.m. at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 410 North Main Street, Jamestown.

“We are excited to be working with a new play that is stretching the parameters of traditional theatre.” says Director Steven Cobb. “The playwright has combined aspects of a sermon and a monologue to create some very charged and touching moments.”

Described as ‘A play about faith, love, and religion in America’, the production, which first debuted in 2015, charts the disintegration of a Mega Church and the fractionated relationships that ensue when worldviews shift.

“On the surface the play is a conversation about spiritual beliefs, theology if you will.” Cobb explains. “As the play deals with reactions to the Pastor’s changing beliefs we are taken in another direction. What happens when you change your mind on something that is so fundamental? How do our relationships change? What happens when a husband and wife no longer hold the same spiritual beliefs? Why do we believe what we believe?”

The show features the talents of local actors Richard Olson Walter, Danica Delois, Adam Hughes, Russell D Lee and Norma DeJoy, and will have a live Gospel Choir onstage during the entire production. The play’s Assistant Director is Marge Fiore.

Jones Valhalla Restaurant, located at 306 North Main Street will be offering a Dinner/Theatre package each performance evening at 6:00pm. Chef/Owner Sean Jones will create a three course prix fixe menu including three entrée choices. The cost of the dinner theatre ticket is $25.00 (gratuities are additional). Reservations are required for the Dinner/Theatre option and can be made through the St. Luke’s office.

The play is open to the public with or without the dinner package. Tickets for the performance (without dinner) are $10, and can be purchased either pre-sale or at the door. Reservations for either type of ticket can be made by calling 716-483-6405.

The Winged Ox Players is a community outreach ministry of St Luke’s Episcopal Church. Founded to utilize the theatrical talents of parishioners and community members, the group seeks to present plays that deliver a thought-provoking message while raising funds to support local charities. For more information about this ministry or other offerings at St Luke’s please email stluke@netsync.net or visit www.stlukesjamestown.org.