By Alexander Carpenter
Over at ProgressiveAdventism.com Professor Julius Nam hosts an interesting series of interlogues (with Professor Ron Lawson) on the socially-driven changes to our community and (with PUC Theater Director Mei Ann Teo) on the upcoming play on Ellen White.
From the latter: Why a play on Ellen White? What inspired you to do this project?
The inspiration for this project came about 5 years ago when I was still a student at PUC. I happened to attend Choir Room Sabbath School when Paul McGraw gave a presentation on the Shakers. He found this pattern. The first generation, who is still alive with the founder or leader, considers the person an enlightened leader. The second generation, after the leader dies, lifts that person up onto a pedestal, and makes that person perfect, inerrant, unique. The third generation tears the pedestal down. The fourth generation is left with nothing. He then asked the group—could this apply to us? There was a visceral reaction in the room. Being more or less a member of the fourth generation, I understood that there was a wound, but didn’t understand if it had a scab, or if it was festering, or how large it was. But I knew that there was much that was unresolved.
What is theater if it is not to address the difficult questions? Not to answer, but to seek for answers. Theater brings a community together and provides a common experience that is shared—an experience that is heightened by the convergence of time, space, and an audience made up of people that you might not find in the same room otherwise. I wanted to extend that idea to the stage, to bring together the perspectives of Ellen G. White that would not be found openly voiced together. These are voices that may be heard from the pulpit, in magazines like Spectrum, or in the privacy and intimacy of one’s home. These are voices that may have been heard many a time before, or never at all. In the play, they all exist together—juxtaposed in a brief space and time, as a microcosm of our community.I'm going.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/4360