The Christ?ans: Faith and doubt at the crossroads

Some would say that theatre and religion can not connect and cross paths. That statement is not true in ‘The Christ?ans’.

Kevin Kilner as pastor Paul in ‘The Christ?ans’. Photo courtesy of Sam Adams and Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

This unique play recently finished its run at The Stage Theatre with the DCPA’s Theatre Company. The production looks at the idea of faith and how fragile and flexible faith can be. Audiences are introduced to a stereotypical mega-church, where there are thousands of attendees and group of pastors to lead their flock.

The main plot begins as head pastor Paul (Kevin Kilner) announces that he and subsequently the church no longer believe in hell. He justifies the claim by asking, what if someone is a good person but dies before they accept Jesus, do they really go to hell?

This causes chasms within the church, eventually leading to the church’s closure completely. Throughout the show pastor Paul must have some very difficult conversations with his family and other members of the church because of this new statement.

This is a truly thought-provoking show that is executed perfectly. The scenery and setting is so convincing and spot on that at one point some members of the audiences bowed their head in prayer because it felt so realistic. The large screens and carpeted floors bring a mega church feel to life.

As with any mega church there’s a fun and uplifting choir and this show pulled out all the stops. The church choir not only provided some fun gospel music but was used to set the tone and feeling of scenes.

The amazing cast also brought these characters to life. Krystel Lucas, pastor Paul’s wife, delivered some amazing and powerful monologues while playing the part of a supportive wife for as long as she could
until eventually leaving her husband. Robert Manning Jr. delivered a strong and willful performance as Joshua the rival pastor. He questioned the pastor at every turn and challenged the blind faith that so many had in the pastor himself.

Kliner’s complex performance of a man who leads so many away while just wanting to help and express himself is fantastic. ‘The Christ?ans’ is a compelling and insightful show that will challenge some
conventional beliefs and ideas around religion while allowing the audience to appreciate the feeling and setting of a large church.

Author: Ryan Holt

Leave a Reply