Saturday, October 24, 2015

*mark @ The Sheen Center

*mark: a trip to Sunday school.

Set in a blackbox theater, this one person straight play attempted to reenact key passages in the New Testament. Beginning with a red/blue police light with George Drance entering and somewhat hiding from the police, the audience was brought along his one-person journey in the beginnings of A.C. times. The entire play was conceived and performed by Drance and is named *mark to evoke a question: how has the Gospel left its mark on you? The play is inspired by Pope Francis’ “The Joy of the Gospel.”

Reciting the Bible almost verbatim, Drance also used the floor and walls to draw pictures of Jesus’ journey and parables with chalk he had in a zip up hoodie he wore. The stage itself had bags of garbage, a lamp and coffee table nearby in an attempt to set the scene of a modern day alleyway. Drance used the coffee table and a bucket as props and would periodically check his “ancient” cell phone for messages that were never shared with the audience.

Drance did not preach and did convey the New Testament with a level of his own flair, however, I believe he wanted to stay very true to the words of the Bible and allow them to speak for themselves. This resulted in the performance feeling like a lecture you would find at CCD or other Sunday School with some laymen’s terms sporadically making the audience giggle.

Director Luann Jennings and George Drance produced a Biblical play and kept it very Biblical. If you are very religious I would suggest attending. However, if you are looking for an eye-catching play about Jesus and his vast journeys before he was crucified you will be disappointed.

Review By: Alexandra Lipari

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