“I don’t know if anyone has attempted this sort of festival before in New York City,” says Michelle Kafel, associate producer. “Who would ever imagine John Paul II off-Broadway?”
Peter Dobbins, the theater’s co-founder, did.
Dobbins found a translation of the pope’s plays in a Texas bookshop 20 years ago, and was taken with them while he was a young performer. “If you sat and read it in your room, you would think this was kind of deep and heady,” Dobbins says. “But when actors say it, it becomes a different experience, it becomes light and beautiful.”
The theater group at the Storm Theatre- which has produced everything from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” to “Linnea,” a retelling of Dostoevsky’s “The Idiot” - had been talking about putting on the plays for years, but only recently secured the rights from Pope John Paul II’s translator Boleslaw Taborski. Taborski, via e-mail, says the pope actually wrote one other play, “David,” which has never been found.
“It’s an exciting and welcome prospect that an off-Broadway group attempts a venture no one has done before anywhere in the world - to put on all [of the pope’s] available plays. Plays that are not ‘easy’ entertainment,” says Taborski. “They are complex in their structure and require concentration on the part of spectators. But to follow them, and take in their contents is, I would say, a unique and rewarding experience.”
HT NY POST
I have a film of John Paul's play, The Jeweler's Shop, made in the late 80's featuring the ever young Olivia Hussey, and Ben Cross in lead roles. It reveals an insight into marriage relationships which, considering the author's lifestyle, is amazing. There is a Christ figure in the Jeweler, played by Burt Lancaster, who uses the weight of the couple's wedding rings to diagnose the state of their marriage.
From my online search, I gather that this video is no longer available. If I get to the festival, you'll hear about it here. Here is some information about showtimes for the play Jeremiah in the New York Times. For more showtimes, contact The Storm Theatre. Tickets are a modest $ 20.
Update, I'm trying to plan a youth trip to see "Our God's Brother" on Saturday June 2nd at 2PM, followed by a modestly priced dinner, and the Catholic Underground at Our Lady of Good Counsel on E 90th Street. If you park at the lot across from the Church, and attend the Underground, you can get parking for only $10 for the entire day. What a deal, the best of Catholic Culture, the JPII generation coming with us, and $10 parking, who says there's no heaven on earth?!
If you live near New York City (we're 1 1/2 hours away on Long Island)come join us!