It is night of Jesus’ crucifixion. His followers (the audience) are in hiding from the authorities. They came to Jerusalem to hail Jesus. Now, they’re confused and frightened. They have become strangers in Jerusalem, the followers … of a dead man. As the audience sits in the dark, they meet Mary Magdalene, a beggar boy, Nicodemus, Simon the Cyrene, and a James the disciple. Each of the characters has a unique perspective on Jesus that’s reassuring but challenging.
“Darkness” is U-3 — unique, unorthodox, and urgent.
Unique. It’s a Good Friday play, designed to heighten the meaningfulness of Easter.
Unorthodox. It’s designed to require little rehearsal as possible. The characters have little interaction with each other, requiring less full-cast rehearsals.
Urgent. The audience members are treated as if they’re the hiding Jesus followers. Jewish leaders are hunting them. They are in danger and told to get away as the play closes.
This play is designed to give new meaning to how dark and desperate it seemed on crucifixion night before the world was changed by a resurrection.
With Terrell Anthony
What inspired you to write this play?
Shock, disbelief, danger—the repercussions of Jesus’s crucifixion that boil at the surface of biblical accounts.
What's your favorite part or line in the play? Why?
Mary Magdalene’s transition from despondent to resolute. Her words make this play as much about today as then: “The world is swirling, as if to swallow us up in a storm of anger, prejudice, and hate. My past is calling to me, demanding that I return to fighting anger with anger, hate with hate, while holding fast to fear. It was my anchor in every storm and never failed to drowned me beneath the waves of circumstances I could never control. Fear destroys. It was destroying me from the inside out, leaving me isolated and hopeless…But then came Jesus.”
What did you try to achieve with this play?
Create an opportunity for audience members to step back into history and confront their own fear about a dangerous and uncertain world.
Do you have anything else you'd like to add?
I’m thankful many people who attend this play say they’re moved by it and that it prepares them to celebrate Easter in new and unique ways.