Friday, June 18, 2010

Theater of the Word Projects

Here are some of our new projects that you could help sponsor.


Our show Socrates Meets Jesus is the perfect way to reach the New Atheists out there - teens and college kids who have fallen away from the Church, who have renounced any faith beyond faith in "sex, drugs & rock-n-roll". You know who I mean. They are your sons and grandsons. They are your nieces and nephews. They are the ones who looked at Confirmation as "graduation from church" and who believe in no God beyond their bellies and their groins.

God bless 'em, how can we reach them?

Through humor. Through drama and film.

Socrates Meets Jesus is a show that I wrote based on the book by Peter Kreeft. In this one-act comedy, Socrates comes back to life and finds himself at a modern college. He is shocked to learn that the students and professors have replaced rational thinking with prejudice, hang-ups and political correctness; he also notices the prevalence of boredom and the ubiquitous indulgence in casual sex, which seems to keep people busy but is making no one happy. He is also surprised that some of these students mention this character Jesus, a man who was born four hundred years after Socrates died. In a fun and engaging way, Socrates proceeds to challenge these students and professors and to examine with them the claims of this man Christ - and in doing so shows that a rational case can be made for faith. We also see the impact this has upon the ever-present slacker philosophy, promiscuity, and judgmentalism of the college scene - all played out in very humorous ways.

How can you help us get "Socrates Meets Jesus" to the audiences who most need to see it?

If we could set out on a subsidized tour, in which our travel expenses and actor salaries were paid by a generous donor, we could offer this show FREE OF CHARGE to high schools, church youth groups and even Newman Centers around the country - and FREE is often the only way such places will book us.


Then again, the cost per audience member reached by any of our shows is cheapest if we film them. For example, the debate between the Christian G. K. Chesterton (played by Chuck Chalberg) and the atheist Clarence Darrow (played by me) which EWTN filmed for an episode of Dale Ahlquist's series The Apostle of Common Sense has attracted 10,000 views on youtube - including comments from many believers and non-believers going at it in the comment boxes.

In addition, we have uploaded several sketches featuring my own character, Stanford Nutting, the liberal ex-theologian, which are attracting about 1,000 views per video on youtube and which are finally stirring up the ire of some of the liberals who are being parodied by him.

Please help by donating or investing in our youtube video series, or in our next Father Brown movie.

We are also planning to film Socrates Meets Jesus as well as our breathtaking story of the life of St. Jeanne Jugan, foundress of the Little Sisters of the Poor on location at her houses in France, where the story took place. Last December, with the help of Corpus Christi Watershed, we filmed a short movie on the conversion of John Henry Newman in Littlemore, England, where his conversion took place, filmed in Newman's very own bedroom and on the grounds where he and his followers lived, studied and prayed. The movie will have its premiere around Newman's beatification this fall in England.


More modest projects with more modest budgets include the following:

The Christian Shakespeare website. Working with Shakespeare scholar Joseph Pearce to launch a website of essays on the Christian meaning of Shakespeare's plays, thus combating the modern and post-modern criticism that has made meaningless the Bard and his works.

Christian Plays website. Developing a website that would offer well-written scripts for all ages to be licensed to amateur and professional troupes across the world.

Bringing Belloc to the Masses. We are looking for underwriters for my one-man Hilaire Belloc show.

Bringing St. Paul to the Protestants. Our show The Journey of St. Paul has tremendous potential in the Protestant market, a vital outreach to those who think Paul is about "faith alone" and who don't realize the richness of his Catholic thinking. Note: A Baptist preacher who saw this show in Ohio came backstage to tell us "ST. PAUL'S PREACHING WAS THE BEST I HAVE EVER SEEN. EVERY BAPTIST CHURCH IN AMERICA NEEDS TO SEE THIS SHOW!"

Father Brown as Audio Book / Radio Play. 2011 marks the 100th anniversary of the publication in print of The Innocence of Father Brown, a volume of stories released as an audio book by Ignatius Press in 2008. My "dramatic reading" on this audio book has gathered much attention and praise (and has even earned a Forword Award in the Best Audio Book category). We are looking to fund the production of the next audio book in the series, The Wisdom of Father Brown.

Please prayerfully consider funding any or ALL of the above projects, or helping us in any other way you can. For instance, if you can't donate, you can help by calling on churches, schools and parishes in your neighborhood and letting them know about the Theater of the Word Incorporated and the crucial work we are doing. And of course, please pray for us, which is the most important thing!

Contact us at 1-888-840-WORD / or via email We are a 501c-3 organization and your donations are tax deductible.

Thank you.

Kevin O'Brien
President and Artistic Director
Theater of the Word Incorporated.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Scene from Macbeth

Here's a scene from my dramatic reading of MACBETH - THE IGNATIUS PRESS CRITICAL EDITION AUDIO BOOK, in which I get to play all the parts.


Clicking on the link should open an audio player on your computer, which will play the file. It's about a five minute scene - just a teaser for the whole work.

Ignatius Press publishes some great audio books, and I'm proud to be the reader for most of the fiction titles. You can download them directly from Ignatius' website to play on your ipods or computers or portable audio devices; or order some of them as CDs to play in your cars.

Click here for more info.