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'Corpus Christi' Coming to Dallas — with a Theater and Dates

by Jerome Weeks 19 Apr 2010 11:46 AM

The Cathedral of Hope will be the site for a touring production of the controversial Terrence McNally play, Corpus Christi, for five performances on June 4-6 — which happens to be the Feast of Corpus Christi weekend. 108 Productions’ revival of Corpus Christi started at a community church and then sold out  LA’s Zephyr Theatre […]


The Cathedral of Hope will be the site for a touring production of the controversial Terrence McNally play, Corpus Christi, for five performances on June 4-6 — which happens to be the Feast of Corpus Christi weekend.

108 Productions’ revival of Corpus Christi started at a community church and then sold out  LA’s Zephyr Theatre in 2006 — before touring to Edinburgh, Dublin and New York. The Dallas appearance, presented in part by Art for Peace & Justice, will kick off 108’s Summer 10 Redemption Tour — the production is also being filmed for a documentary.

The full release is below the fold.

108 Productions and Art for Peace & Justice and the Cathedral of Hope present the Internationally Acclaimed Award Winning Revival of Corpus Christi by Terrence McNally

Five performances only with very limited seating!

Friday June 4- Sunday June 6, 2010

Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs Rd., Dallas, TX 75235-6806

Corpus Christi by Terrence McNally will be staged as part of its major internationally acclaimed revival from the Los Angeles based company 108 Productions at Cathedral of Hope during the weekend Feast of Corpus Christi. First produced 12 years ago, the play gained instant notoriety by its recasting of Jesus and his disciples as young gay men living in modern day Corpus Christi, Texas.

Corpus Christi originally opened at the Manhattan Theatre Club, New York in 1998 to death threats and protests but following its recent worldwide acclaim, the play is now recognised as a modern masterpiece. Recently, however, the play has been dogged with controversy yet again at Tarleton State University and both the director, John Otte, and his cast reached out to 108 Productions for support. In an official statement released by 108 Productions:

Corpus Christi may still create controversy in some communities, but again we ask those that condemn to first experience the piece before judgment. ‘Judge not lest ye be judged:’ a simple but profound statement worthy to any believer or non-believer alike. This play is far from blaspehmous. It is an extension of divine Love that Jesus Christ embodied. We are sorry Tarleton students were exposed to such hate, fear and homophobia. In response to this extremism and censorship recently displayed in the region we have decided to bring our production of Corpus Christi to Dallas. Our hope is to both support the individuals who face hate and inequality on a daily basis as well as attempt to start a respectful and meaningful dialogue within a community that often seems to be motivated by fear and lack of understanding. The more these areas are ignored the longer it takes for true positive change to take hold. All men are indeed equal and entitled to a place at the table of spirituality. Love will always prevail.”

The 108 Productions revival started humbly at the Metropolitan Community Church in the Valley in 2006, and its resounding success continued to sell-out audiences for months at Los Angeles’ famous Zephyr Theatre then went on to tour across America. In Europe, the play was a stand-out success at the 2007 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and was awarded the Intercultural Dialogue Award at the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival in 2008. Following, the company celebrated the show’s 10th anniversary Off-Broadway at the Rattlestick Theatre, benefiting the Matthew Shepard Foundation and New York’s Gay Community Center. Now being filmed for a feature film documentary the cast continues its tour through 2010 both nationally and internationally. Originally written for thirteen young men, this production continues to celebrate the play’s message of embracing diversity by casting both men and women of a large age range, varying religious beliefs and all walks of life.

Cast includes: Directed by Nic Arnzen, with the following cast: Jan Ambler, Nic Arnzen, James Brandon, Sheilagh Brooks, Steve Callahan, Melissa Caulfield, Elizabeth Cava, Mark Colbert, Paul Denniston, Matthew Montgomery, Molly O’Leary, David Pevsner, Anna Rebek, and Suzanne Santos


WHAT: 108 Productions’ Internationally Acclaimed Revival of Terrence McNally’s Corpus Christi

WHEN: Friday, June 4 – 7:30pm

Saturday, June 5 – 3:00pm and 7:30pm

Sunday, June 6 – 3:00pm and 7:30pm

WHERE: Cathedral of Hope, 5910 Cedar Springs Rd., Dallas, TX 75235-6806

TICKETS: VIP Front Row Seats: $50*

General Admission: $30*

Tickets available at 214-351-1432 or www.h4pj.org

*$1.00 from every ticket sale will go to the Cathedral of Hope AIDS Crisis Fund

Terrence McNally has received four Tony Awards, two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Rockefeller Grant, the Lucille Lortel Award, the Hull-Warriner Award, and a citation from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

108 Productions is a company of diverse actors and artists that have come together to turn otherwise niche stories into universal truths. The company believes that art is the ultimate expression of life that can uncover the truth and beauty in communities that are often misunderstood and stereotyped. With theatrical, film and multi-media endeavours, 108 Productions aspire to challenge personal beliefs, thoughts and ideas, to create a commonality among all communities. The

Cathedral of Hope, a congregation of The United Church of Christ, based in Dallas, Texas, is a liberal Christian church of over 4,000 church members located in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. The congregation is primarily and historically lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT). Local and national church ministries, outreach programs, Internet (www.cathedralofhope.com), radio and television media touch thousands of lives each day. Celebrating its 40th anniversary in July of this year, the Cathedral of Hope continues to be a church with a vibrant ministry guided by the principles of extravagant grace, radical inclusion, and relentless compassion. With the construction of the Interfaith Peace Chapel, designed by Philip Johnson, the recipient of the first Pritzker Architecture Prize, the Cathedral of Hope family is committed to creating a sacred space devoted to peace and interfaith cooperation where all people are welcome and where collaboration, regardless of faith tradition, is not only possible, but brings tangible benefits to the community through mutual respect and common purpose.

Art for Peace & Justice (Art4PJ), based in Dallas, Texas, is a program of the non-profit Hope for Peace & Justice (www.h4pj.org), which is equipping progressive people of faith to be champions for peace and justice. Art4PJ utilizes the arts to educate, enlighten and inspire people and thereby create a cultural shift toward peace and justice. Enlisting artists across the country to become ambassadors and educators, prophets and priests for social transformation, Art4PJ uses music, drama, literature, dance and the visual arts to challenge people to work together to create beauty rather than destruction, unity rather than division, and cooperation rather than conflict.

  • Matt Dominguez

    And of course the DMN Metro Blog refer’s to it, once again, as the “Gay Jesus” Play in the title of their article. Way to stay professional.

  • Chevytexas

    I know this was from a news release, but I find it particularly annoying that both the Texas gay press and even KERA are all gushy over a “big time production” of this play without once mentioning the recent suppression of this play when produced by Tarleton State collegians both on campus and in Ft. Worth, complete with threats. Not much journalsm alive in North Texas these days.

  • Chevy:

    If you had followed the link in this post that’s connected to the title of the play, Corpus Christi, you would find one of the more recent posts covering the Tarleton State issues. And in that post is a link to a previous post, and in that post a link to a previous one — going back a month to the original news. Included along the way will be quotations from a Bloomberg News interview with Terrence McNally as well as a report from the Texan News Service at Tarleton that a conservative Republican blogger has thanked Governor Perry and Lt. Governor Dewhurst for their efforts in getting the show cancelled, although both officials’ offices deny it.

    In total, there have been 7 posts on this blog directly or indirectly concerning the events at Tarleton State University and Fort Worth’s Rose Marine Theatre.

    You’re welcome.