Justin Poole, assistant professor of theater at Eastern Mennonite University, and professional composer and musician Jim Clemens present “The Gospel Project: A Theatrical Journey through the Life of Jesus Christ.” The performances will be Friday, March 23, and Saturday, March 24, at 8 p.m. at Asbury United Methodist Church in Harrisonburg. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.
The work is “a kinetic and reverent retelling of the Gospels that takes as its inspiration the Baroque art of Rembrandt and Caravaggio,” according to Poole.
It was commissioned in 2015 by Asbury’s Sacred Arts Series and first debuted in February 2016.
“The Gospels still have the potential to challenge and surprise,” said Poole. “Showcasing these stories through a blend of sculptural poses, atmospheric lighting, and mood-setting music allows audiences to experience the life of Jesus with fresh eyes.”
Poole says the performance will appeal to “believers and doubters, church goers and non-churchgoers, theater enthusiasts and non-theater enthusiasts … I think what really comes through in this production is the humanity of Christ.”
Clemens performs on a variety of string, wind and percussion instruments during the production.
The creative team also includes Holly Labbe, director and costume designer; Noel Levin, lighting designer, working with the original design by David Vogel; Ezrionna Prioleau, stage manager; and Ethan Eldred and Hailey Holcomb, stage crew.