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'Life and Work' - March 2008 issue

19th February 2008

Donald Smith, director of the Scottish Storytelling Centre, explores the rise and growth of the Easter Passion play. Whilst the most famous contemporary play takes place at Oberammergau in Germany, he charts the growth in popularity of local dramatic interpretation of the Easter story and explains the role of religion in drama. Outlining the links, he writes: "Christianity has never been a passive spectator at the theatrical feast. In truth, religion has always been at the innovative centre of dramatic art. There is an interesting tension between theatre as spectacle (deriving from the Greek verb 'to look at') and drama, deriving from the Greek verb 'to do'. Christianity has profoundly influenced theatre in the direction of a participative dramatic experience."

A series of actors have famous taken on the role of the Son of God for both television and the silver screen, including Robert Powell, Willem Dafoe and Jim Caviezel. Each describes the profound influence of the role on their own lives.

The Moderator, the Rt Rev Sheilagh Kesting describes Holy Week - the week leading up to Good Friday and Easter Sunday - as 'the defining week of Christianity' which provides a timely reminder of the ways in which Christian life is about crossing boundaries and reaching out to others.
"It is a week that shows us as we are but which also fills us with hope," she explains.