Covenant College Presents The Christians, Conflict In A Polarized World, Nov. 18-20

Friday, November 12, 2021
Pastor Paul (Ray Lantrip) confidently confuses his congregation member, Jenny (Leila Vaugn)
Pastor Paul (Ray Lantrip) confidently confuses his congregation member, Jenny (Leila Vaugn)

Covenant College will present The Christians, Nov. 18-19 at 7:00 p.m. with a matinee showing on Nov. 20 at 2:30 p.m. The play is directed by Professor Camille Hallstrom.

Review for The Christians:

In a world where moral disagreements create great division amongst family, friends, and strangers, the church is not exempt from polarization. Being right has become more important than having a civil argument and someone who disagrees is seen as the enemy, either consciously or subconsciously. Playwright Lucas Hnath explains that the goal of The Christians is to “show a series of arguments and try to create an understanding of what is at stake in those arguments.” The play is set in a megachurch and follows the disagreements of two pastors that lead to a church split.

Mr. Hnath grew up in the evangelical church; he considered becoming a minister like his mother but chose to be a playwright instead. He’s since won the Obie Award for excellence in playwriting for his plays Red Speedo and The Christians, in addition to winning the Outer Critics Circle Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and numerous other literary awards. Due to his background in the church, the structure of the play mimics a church service. Those who have attended church know that it has a naturally theatrical feel, making it easy to turn it into a performance. Musicians James Ward and Jarvis Menifee will be leading a gospel choir and three-piece ensemble as part of the church service, as Mr. Hnath created space for songs throughout the play.

The beauty of this play is that it can be a good experience for anyone; non-Christians have watched it and have seen their experiences reflected on stage. Anyone can relate to the tension of disagreement; the flaws of our culture are creating more polarization than ever before. The church is just another example of where disagreements can cause an uncomfortable amount of unease. The audience can relate to Pastor Paul’s congregation and how it can be difficult to debate about important beliefs without harming personal relationships. While the play does not resolve all the conflicts it creates, there remains an issue to be explored outside the theatre.

Performances will be held in Sanderson Theater and masks will be required. Parking will be available in the Sanderson lot. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $7 for students, seniors, military, and Covenant faculty and staff. Purchase live performance or streaming tickets through the website covenant.edu/theatre. Call (706) 419-1051 or email boxoffice@covenant.edu for more information. 


Pastor Paul (Ray Lantrip) and his wife (Cara Smole) face division in their church and marriage
Pastor Paul (Ray Lantrip) and his wife (Cara Smole) face division in their church and marriage

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