This survey of the deity onstage in Western theatre begins with ancient Greek theatre, where the deus ex machina swept down to rescue mortals from improbable plots. In medieval Christian Biblical cycles (the Mystery Plays), God routinely strolled the stage and participated in human affairs. Then for 300 years the representation of God or Jesus Christ onstage was banned in Britain and many other countries followed suit. Although no longer banned, God for the last 50 years has made only irregular guest appearances.
Calling on her dozen years as Director and Associate Professor of Speech and Theatre at Aurora University, Pellowe combines lectures, discussion, and reading together scenes that feature deities – concentrating on the Christian understanding of God – over the last 2500 years.
There are two versions of this seminar. One is a series of four hour-long classes in which people get to read some of the plays and enjoy expanded lectures. The other is a 60-minute capsule version.
Charles Wesley penned the words to over 6,000 hymns. They express his profound joy, faith, and belief in his Lord and God. Charles Wesley is known as the Sweet Singer of Methodism, and Methodists earn their reputation for singing their theology, but Wesley's hymns rank among the favorites of all Christians: think of Love Divine, All Loves Excelling; Hark! The Herald Angels Sing; Christ the Lord is Risen Today; A Charge to Keep I Have; O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing. In this workshop, we explore the theology and background of several Wesley hymns, both unheard-of and well-known. Come ready to read, think, and sing! Length: two hours.
Susanna Wesley wrote extensive instructive letters to her children, essays on church and biblical themes, and meditations for her personal use. This workshop features reading some of her writings in the light of their context, and a considerable amount of time using excerpts of Susanna's writings for our own silent meditation.
Length: 60-90 minutes.
Note: For a daylong retreat with variety, consider scheduling Charles Wesley's Hymns with O Susanna! and Susanna's Meditations.