The Department of Performing & Media Arts is excited to announce a special film-screening of Testament on Thursday, April 22 at 4:30 p.m. The screening will be followed by a Professional Directions talk with Ian Harkins ’11, Co-Artistic Director of Via Brooklyn Theatre Co., the nonprofit which has produced the show, which is its first streaming production.
Testament reimagines Old and New Testament verses set in modern America, and explores the stories of Isaac, son of Abraham, Lot’s daughters, and Anthony, the impenitent thief on the cross. Director Lucy Jane Atkinson says “This film is an examination of the basic human need for connection in a year where community has felt more remote than ever before.”
Cast, crew, and producers executed a huge effort to pivot from stage to film due to COVID-19 protocols, but believe it served the intimate nature of the show, which focuses on mono- and duo-logue confessions in a setting similar to a group therapy session. Writer Tristan Bernay says “The final piece is a real hybrid between stage and screen” which creates a sense of "sharing this confessional with these characters.”
A further benefit of the shift to screen is accessibility – one reviewer said there are not many benefits to COVID-19, but it did make UK audiences “lucky enough to witness this current New York production of British writer Tristan Bernays’ breathtaking play” (North West End).
Reviewers have called the show “Completely gripping from start to finish...a must see” (North West End) and “unmissable...the stories and performances by the talented cast are given the space to shine” (everything theatre), and called Bernays’ characters are “well worth meeting” (Stagedoor).