Using the Gospel of John in Performance
Angus Stuart has now also memorized the Gospel of John from the NRSV and has been working with his artistic director, Carol Ann Coulson, to adapt this for theatrical performance. One of the challenges in dramatizing the Gospel of John is that it has many more extended speeches by Jesus and less straight narrative than the Gospel of Mark. However, Angus and Carol Ann are very happy with the work they have done on this Gospel, and Angus has begun to offer performances of the whole of the Gospel of John as well as using it in retreat and workshop contexts.
In March 2014, Angus used portions of the Gospels of Mark and John in a retreat for the North Vancouver Deanery held at Rivendell Retreat Centre on Bowen Island B.C. under the title “Taking the Word to Heart” – a play on the theme of learning the Gospel by heart and picking up on the parable of the sower in Mark’s Gospel as well as John’s prologue. As this was at the end of Lent leading up to Passion Week, use was made of the passion narratives from Mark 14-15 and John 13-19, as well as from Matthew 26-27 which Angus had been learning in advance of reciting it as the Passion Gospel for Palm Sunday.
In June 2016, Angus offered his first performance of “Word of Light: John’s Gospel in the Flesh” at his home church, St. Francis-in-the-Wood in West Vancouver. In Holy Week of 2017, Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Vancouver hosted the second performance with much acclaim and positive feedback. This was followed by a short four-date tour of the Gospel of John in the United Kingdom plus one performance of Mark’s Gospel during this tour.