Summary

Summary

John Masefield, Poet Laureate of Great Britain from 1930-1967, depicts in The Trial of Jesus what may have happened in Judea under the rule of Pontius Pilate as Jesus Christ is tried by both the Jewish and the Roman courts. Using what is recorded in the bible (and then taking some liberties) Masefield posits that this trial, now famous, may have been at that time just another case before the courts. He imagines that there is little or no thought to what the future ramifications may be in condemning this man who claims to be the Son of God. While the people of Jerusalem are agitated, there is no clear villain, and many are torn by admiration of Jesus and fear of his challenging a system of belief that had been theirs for centuries. Politics and danger surround the courts, and ultimately we know the end result, but Masefield adds some interesting characters and insight to the telling of this well-known story.

Cast & Staff

Cast & Staff

Cast
(In the order of their appearance)

Chorus Leader Rachel McKendree
Jesus Br. Stephen Velie
Judas Brad Lussier
Peter Kyle Norman
Malchus David Bushnell
Officer Ellen Ortolani
Zadok Kate Shannon
Annas Luke Norman
Caiaphas Chris Kanaga
1st Maid Rachel McKendree
2nd Maid  N. Karen Catlin
Malluch Brad Lussier
Shobek Br. Abraham Henderson
Amok David Bushnell
Pilate Chris Kanaga
Petronius  Kate Shannon
Longinus  Kyle Norman
Procula  Sr. Danielle Dwyer
Mary Magdalene  Kate Shannon
Mary, Mother of Jesus  Rachel McKendree
King Herod  Br. Richard Cragg

Chorus
Kate Shannon
Ellen Ortolani
N. Karen Catlin
Luke Norman
Chris Kanaga
Kyle Norman
Brad Lussier
Br. Abraham Henderson
David Bushnell

Dancers
Sarah Andre
Sr. Genevieve Cleverly
Br. Richard Cragg
Laura McKendree
Karen Minster
Amy Mitchell
Br. Jacob Witter

Staff
Director
Sr Danielle Dwyer
Technical Director
Chris Kanaga

To see the entire program or read the program notes click here

 

News & Reviews

News & Reviews

From the Director

From the Director

Dear Friends,

John Masefield’s Trial of Jesus is a difficult piece to nail down. In this piece, he has given us a cast of characters who fluctuate between being reasonable and sincere to well-meaning victims swept up in the tide of an inevitable end; the trial and condemnation of Jesus Christ. Each character has an agenda, each is caught in a political spider web, and each appears to do what he feels is right – so understandable, so human.

Pilate, Herod, Annas and Caiaphas are all men under someone else’s rule and authority. Are they not each victims?

Even victims make choices which affect others and influence the outcome of situations. This story makes that clear. What Masefield also makes clear is that most of these men live in the zone of grey—driven to the extremes of black or white only by great pressure. Sometimes that pressure drives them out of the grey by igniting in the same twenty four hour period a swing from admiration of Jesus to crying, “Crucify Him!”

Masefield does not pit an antagonist against a protagonist, but gives a picture of many contributing to the final moments of crucifixion. In the end, choices must be made and each chooses where their heart is strongest. No longer men and women split by reason or understanding. I think this Cherokee story, puts it very well:

An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life. . .
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.”
“One is evil—he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.”
“The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”
“This same fight is going on inside you—and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old chief simply replied, “The one you feed.”

On behalf of Elements Theatre Company, our sincerest wishes for a rich and enlightening Holy Week

See and Hear