Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Adventures of St. Paul

... from an article in an upcoming issue of The St. Austin Review


I have always been fascinated with St. Paul. And so toward the end of 2007 I began to write what I hoped would become a one-man show that I could tour the country performing, under the aegis of my business The Theater of the Word Incorporated. Before settling down to the hard task of creating such a show, I searched around for other one-man Paul scripts that might be out there, in the hopes that I could save some time and simply produce one that already existed. I read the sample first page of a one-man Paul script that a hopeful writer sent me, but could tell right away that his Paul was simply a nice guy who meant well but found himself unjustly persecuted. His Paul was to the real Paul as Marty Haugen’s liturgical music is to Gregorian chant. This is not the Paul I hoped to bring to our prospective audiences.

And so I realized I had to create my own script – though it ended up being a four-person show, not a one-man. I covered the gamut of Paul’s life and writings, with the tag line “The Journey of St. Paul – stoning, shipwrecks, miracles and more!” We then were blessed with Pope Benedict proclaiming this past year as The Year of St. Paul, and so we found ourselves literally travelling coast to coast, as eager parishes of all stripes – liberal, conservative, and in-between, booked us.

Looking back over this past Year of St. Paul, and reflecting on our experiences in bringing his life and writings to thousands of people across the country, a few things stand out about this most famous of literary converts.

First, Paul’s forthrightness astonished and encouraged people. “Am I trying to please men?” Paul says at one point. “If I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ.” (see Gal 1:10) We showed Paul standing up to all adversity and boldly preaching the Gospel “in season and out of season” (2 Tim 4:2) I had more than one priest say to me after a performance, “If only our bishops could be like Paul!”

Also ...


... ah, but if you want to read more, you'll have to see an upcoming issue of the St. Austin Review - an excellent magazine published on both sides of the Atlantic, dedicated to the revival of Catholic culture.

In the meantime, follow our adventures and Kevin O'Brien's posts at The St. Austin Review Ink Desk

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