Staged reading encourages discussion on organized religion

By: Bryan Hagelin,  Department of Performing and Media Arts
September 7, 2018

When & Where: September 15, 7:00 p.m., Anabel Taylor Chapel (The Christians)

Free & open to the public

One of the Department of Performing and Media Arts’ most important objectives is to foster an appreciation for the arts among the greater Cornell and Ithaca communities, a goal which Lisa Meixner McCullough ’20 hopes to achieve by directing a staged reading of a contemporary American play on the Cornell campus.

Chosen because it frames issues that matter to students, The Christians by Lucas Hnath will be performed on September 15 at 7:00 p.m. in the Anabel Taylor Chapel. The reading is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a facilitated discussion. 

Lucas Hnath’s play The Christians tackles matters of organized religion and faith in America. When Pastor Paul, leader of a prominent American megachurch, gives a particularly controversial sermon about the nature of salvation and damnation, what results is a lively debate about religion and what it means to be Christian in America. Although the play takes place in a church, Hnath is careful not to preach, and his mature, balanced writing leaves it up to the audience whether The Christians is sympathetic to, or critical of, the types of communities it depicts.

Bryan Hagelin '20 is a communications assistant in the Department of Performing and Media Arts.