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Taking Up the Cross

What a crazy ride it’s been. After a series of crowd-unfriendly parables, there’s an explosion of miracles, and then an equally sudden going into hiding, and then these distressing statements by Jesus about how he’s going to die (along with a prediction of his resurrection that no one seems to have heard or remembered, and a truly harsh and unfair indictment of the one disciple who tried to be helpful) followed by hopeful statements about him coming in glory to claim his kingdom. What were the poor disciples to make of this?

One of the most difficult things about writing these plays has been dealing with the phenomenon in which Jesus tells the disciples again and again what’s about to happen to him, and they seem either to not hear him or to quickly forget. In this play, I resort to a group psychopathology to turn it into plausible drama: they all go temporarily crazy, even Jesus in a way when Peter urges on him the temptation he’s been desperately resisting for all his adult life. Is this enough to explain it all? Whether or not it is, I’m on to the next play!

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