The Biblical story of Jesus’ death and resurrection has inspired an abundance of creative works — including engaging novels, dramatic plays, and memorable movies — that significantly depict this utterly marvelous story.
In point of fact, the Bible’s text is very brief and to the point. Consequently, wise writers, playwrites, and screen-play authors have a widely recognized poetic license to make good use of their “holy imaginations.” In the process, people identified and briefly described in Scripture are justifiably represented quite differently by the many and various responsible authors of plays and movie scripts. Similarly, there are creative differences in the descriptions of these same Biblical characters between the very best of sermons, too!
New Yorker and Tony Award winning John O’Boyle is a gifted playwright who has engaged in a very fresh, creative, accurate, profound representation of the Scriptural characters with marked success. The result is “Easter Mysteries,” an awesome and intensely creative dramatic retelling of the most transformative four days in history, the original Maundy Thursday through Resurrection Sunday. A talented, multi-ethnic team of actors put remarkably engaging flesh on the eternal truths of the Gospel story — with the extra grace of compellingly beautiful music. This result is an excellent upcoming one hour ABC Network TV broadcast and an 87 minute DVD.
The “Easter Mysteries” oratorio musical drama is incredibly well-crafted. Every one of the characters who interact with Jesus is fully relatable to our own contemporary experiences — though also completely rooted in kosher Jewish culture of Jesus’ first followers. None of those followers wears a halo, and the marked personal differences between them enable a rich intrigue and narrative dynamic that totally rivets the audience’s attention to the unfolding story.
Even though that basic story is quite well-known to many, and even though O’Boyle never wanders away from the core Biblical narratives, he very creatively reveals every individual and their vivid struggles with commitment, doubt, discouragement, hope and faith. The evident Biblical differences of personalities are productively placed under excellent drama’s magnifying glass — empowering the audience to more accurately understand and more deeply engage the amazing Scriptural narrative.
Easter Mysteries is an intensely creative and appealing dramatization of the first Maundy Thursday through Resurrection Sunday weekend. Without giving away any details that need to be seen to be fully appreciated, perhaps O’Boyle’s most crowning achievement is the dramatic journey he takes us into the spirits of both Mary Magdalene and Simon Peter.
Mary Magdalene is feminine and not sensationalized with any shallow sexualization of her fervent, Biblical passion for Jesus. Her expressions of genuine doubts and discouragements are womanly, as also are her honest hopes, commitment, and faith. The Mary Magdalene of “Easter Mysteries” is so personally authentic and appealing that you will wish you could personally meet her and hear much more of what she has to say!
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: The Christian Post
Dr. Paul de Vries is the president of New York Divinity School, and a pastor, speaker and author. He is a specialist in Biblical hermeneutics and ethics and a life-long advocate of Biblical activism.