For Easter, 2012, Theatre Group Dzieci was invited to create a Passion for Holy Week at The Abbey of Regina Laudis
in Bethlehem, Connecticut, courageously enacted by a small group of nuns from that precious community.
The experience was life-changing for all involved, and inspired Dzieci to seek the essence of this sacred ritual.
Beginning with the earliest versions of the text, and relying heavily on the Aramaic Peshitta, the group integrated Hebrew song and chant and ritual elements of Judaism, and set this revision in the shadow of the Warsaw Ghetto.
The result is A Passion, a dramatic choral liturgy unbound.
Below are some impressions, videos, and links to photo albums of past performances.
A Passion reviewed by John Osburn
Essay by The Reverend Diana Wilcox on A Passion for Palm Sunday
“A Passion Comes to Rockaway” interview with Matt Mitler
and A Personal Reflection by Rev. Daniel Meeter
I’m 88 years old and was one of the first members of the Actors Studio and I’ve been to countless plays,
but I can’t remember the last time I saw a performance that moved me as much as your Passion.
~ Lenka Peterson, Bethlehem, CT ~
Worship with Dzieci at Christ Episcopal Church in Bloomfield & Glen Ridge, NJ today was beyond words.
I was left speechless in the best possible way. An amazing beginning to this Holy Week.
~ Robert Solon, Jr. ~
A beautiful, deeply moving and meaningful performance under the stars of Bushwick!
~ Dan Guarino, President, Rockaway Artists Alliance, Inc. ~
I have never experienced such an extraordinary portrayal of The Passion. Bravo!
~ Rev. Jean Shaw, Sacramento, CA ~
Any corps of actors that can cause a hush to fall upon its audience, such that the angel of silence
is not just flying by but is still hovering, must, as they say, be doing something right.
~ John Osburn, TheatreScene ~
It was the most soulful Passion rite I have experienced…this time, for the first time, I was moved to tears.
It was delightfully unassuming and powerful.
You take the grace of the message of the Passion of Jesus beyond the walls of Christianity and into the realm of ALL.
~Sr. Georgene Wilson, OSF ~
Thank you so much for your extraordinary work in “A Passion” last Friday. It was such a pleasure to welcome you back to Westover School for the workshop and performance. Your presence was a blessing to the students and faculty, with songs that sanctified our spaces of learning, and messages that brought empathy and forgiveness to our hearts. It was inspiring to see how seamlessly Vicky (the audience participant) seemed to move within the context of the piece, and I know how much the experience of working with you all meant to her! Your generosity is extraordinary.
~ Marla Truini, Director of Drama, Westover School ~
Hi friends! I’m Vicky the ever so grateful Westover senior you welcomed into The Passion with very open arms.
I honestly cannot express how much this experience means to me. All of you were so kind, loving, and supportive that I was completely overwhelmed. The workshop was amazing and I learned so much about just jumping in and putting your all into a character or emotion. Dzieci creates such a safe space that anyone can just feel free. The Passion was amazing to watch and be a part of and I am so thankful that you had the faith in me to throw me in. I felt so at ease and at home working with you all and that incredible feeling is something I can’t describe. Thank you so much for welcoming me into the family.
~ Vicky Graham, Student, Westover School ~
The performance of A Passion According to Matthew was beautifully conceived and performed.
I found this Service to be the most moving experience I have ever had at West Park – or maybe even in any Church.
The symbolism of the passing of the white shawl-reminding us that we are all part of Jesus –
the “everyman” interpretation was so moving. I couldn’t keep my eyes dry.
I loved the Passion and the attentional work of the whole ensemble. I follow you folks and have
known/seen three of your pieces, much to my enrichment and my wish for a saner, happier, wiser and more life affirming world.
Last night was so beautiful that I felt we were at the Sermon on the Mount and there would be a miracle
of the feeding of the people from three fishes and a loaf of bread.
Thank you so much for such a beautiful experience and all that I have learned from your sharing.
~Teresita Cuadad ~
I was swept in immediately with the song of prayer as the company entered — that melody being forever etched in my mind
from youth. The evening had a feeling of intimacy and “tradition”…tradition not only in the sense of the story being told,
but that a group of people can stand in some light, in front of other people, in a small space in Brooklyn,
and create a shared emotional experience.
Passion Finale April 24th, 2014