tlf news Vol. xi #1 March, 1990

Letter to the Editor

This is a simple reflection of gratitde to the actors of teatro la fragua for their powerful Holy Week dramatization of the Passion.

It was the most powerful proclamation of the Passion I have every experienced.

There was no hesitation in any of the fragua actors. Their voices, their faces, their body movement, the use of space, their convictions said everything and I heard it.

What was it? Not so easy. What I'm most aware of in this moment is a tremendous excitement. Call it a joy, call it a sense of possibility, call it a hope. Call it simply a very powerful religious experience.

Images continue to re-emerge, especialy the simple but profound technique in which the characters melted in and out of each other in a way that did not allow me to rest on any character or assume that I was one specific person in the narrative. I was the narrator telling it like it was, I was the crowd yelling it like it often is, I was the soldier selling it for what it isn't, I was Pilate smelling in it what would be best for me.

The movements, the lines created by bodily positions never offered me the chance to slouch into a lethargic observance. I, together with the others in the church, was called to the edge of my pew at times and pushed back at others. We were all engaged.

I can't forget the rage and animation of the turbulent crowd: "Crucify him!" Such power, such security, such anonymity in a crowd.

Nor the crucifixion scenes in which the role of Jesus is shared by all the actors, I was never allowed the comfort of isolating Jesus on the cross, of relgating that "role" to one Christ. Would I too be called upon to climb that same cross?

I say it again: this was hopeful, and I am proud and grateful.

-Rick Abert

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