25 February 2013
The Passion Trust invites us to put on a passion play at Easter 2014.
A resurgence of Passion Plays, with a new focus on bringing the Gospel out of the churches and onto the streets in towns and cities across the UK, is an increasingly exciting part of social and spiritual transformation in cities across the United Kingdom. We would like to invite you to see a performance near you.
What are Passion Plays?Passion Plays, also known as Mystery Plays, were used in the medieval as a means to communicate the Gospel to a mostly illiterate general public, telling the Bible stories from Genesis to the life of Jesus Christ onwards. As the success of the plays increased, the Church gave responsibility to the local tradesmen to produce the plays and people such as the Fishmongers took on sections like the Feeding of the 5000 and the Shipbuilders took on the Flood - early examples of very creative producing!
Today there are many Passion Plays performed around the world and the tradition of both teaching the Gospel and Theatre in Education has continued. Each play focuses on the story of Jesus Christ, whether it be his birth (the Nativity Story), his life or his crucifixion and resurrection.
Usually, Nativity Plays take place around Christmas time , celebrating the Nativity story in true Christmas style, and Passion Plays focusing on Jesus’ life often take place around Easter. Each Passion Play tells the story of Jesus Christ in a new light, resulting in unique performances that have the power to inspire and challenge audiences today.
How do they serve the community?Passion plays use theatre to bring the words of the Gospel to life in new, often vivid and startling, ways. They show how the message of second chances, forgiveness and new opportunities has the potential to speak life and hope into communities struggling with poverty, crime, addiction or hopelessness and boredom.
They also give the people who act in them and who come to see them a chance to re-think the meaning of the Gospel and to re-live the events that led to the cross and the resurrection. The plays bring the story of Easter to each generation in a fresh and inspiring manner.
As community events, put on by volunteers from churches and local arts organisations, these plays draw people into new relationships with each other. All walks of life come forward to volunteer their help and all are impacted in some form or another. In the journey together people of all ages discover new talents and skills, and contribute to their community by staging a free event for their neighbours. Denominations unite which invariably brings the blessing to the community.
The Passion TrustThe Passion Trust is a registered charity that exists to support and promote performances of passion plays in England, Scotland and Wales. These plays are new and exciting aspects of Easter celebrations and a growing number of Passion Plays are being performed across the United Kingdom, including, Glasgow, Dundee, Guildford, Northampton, Bolton, Leominster, London and Brighton.
Together these performances attract crowds of people in the tens of thousands and they are featured in national and regional newspapers. They are fitting performances during Easter to focus attention on the real reason behind the eggs and chocolate and during Christmas behind the tinsel and the consumerism: Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection, which is the centre of the Christian faith and hope.
The Passion Trust supports local, community productions of Passion Plays and its aims are:
To resource people who are staging passion events in their city in order to bring their vision to fruition.
To facilitate the pooling of resources and exchange ideas among producing teams.
To market the events through search engines, on the net and via our website.
To publicise performances via PR contacts and the media.
To promote ongoing research and education among the community of people directing, producing and acting in Passion plays
To work with schools and Universities RE and drama departments: find projects that suit their curriculum.
To provide workshops for educational groups.
To provide pro bono consultation for these events when needed.
Please visit our website dedicated to Passion Plays (http://www.passion-plays.co.uk) to find a performance in a city near you or to make a donation. For more information about putting on a Nativity or Passion Play, please visit the Passion Trust site (http://www.passiontrust.org) for resources and contacts to help you bring the Gospel to your local community through drama.