Stories from the Old Testament will be performed in new ways and new plays when the Northwestern theatre department hosts an Ancient Hebrew Drama Festival on Sunday, April 11, from 2-4 p.m. in the England Theatre.
During the festival, theatre companies from NW and Western Theological Seminary of Holland, Mich., will perform stories from the Old Testament, including “Cain and Abel,” “Tower of Babel,” “Moses and Pharaoh’s Daughter,” “Joshua and Caleb,” “Joshua and Achan,” “Eli and Samuel,” “David and Goliath,” “David and Bathsheba,” and “Elijah and the Prophets of Baal.”
The dramas, some of which are scripted verbatim from Scripture, are part of an exploration of the idea that the oldest body of theatrical literature may actually be from the Hebrews rather than the Greeks.
NW theatre professor, Jeff Barker, said, “Our hope with this festival is to restore these ancient works of art to the platform that was once intended. Once churches and schools can see their power, they will join us in producing these exquisite Godly plays.”
NW theatre has been performing the ancient dramas of the Hebrew people since 2003. “Over the years, I have seen marvelous ancient Hebrew drama productions,” Barker said. “Each one left me with the thought, ‘These need to be shared with more people!’” This festival provides the space to experience the ancient dramas and engage in discussion specifically about the ancient plays.
NW and Western Theological Seminary students will be performing together in this festival. Each performance intends to bring scripture to life. Barker is excited for the impact this festival will have on the campus and the greater community.
“The lion of scripture will be out of the cage, and it will do more of what the Holy Spirit has intended,” Barker said.
The event is free, but reservations are required and can be made by emailing the theatre box office. Refreshments will follow for the post-performance discussion.