Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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March 21, 2013

Palm Sunday to be celebrated with play

Corsicana — The Navarro College Department of Theatre and Corsicana churches (First United Methodist, First Baptist, Westminster Presbyterian, and St. John’s) invite you to “Clothed in Glory: A Palm Sunday Pageant,” written and directed by Dr. Shellie O’Neal, Director of Theatre at Navarro College. Performances will be given outdoors at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 23, and at 3 p.m. Palm Sunday, March 24. Both performances will begin at First United Methodist Church on the lawn facing 15th Street.

The staging of this play will be accomplished via pageant waggons and the use of processions. The spelling of “ waggon” is a  medieval spelling which designates a wagon used in a cycle play.  

The cycle plays — called such because the stories were performed in sequence, or in a cycle — were wildly popular: almost every country in Europe during the Middle Ages produced cycle plays.

The staging of the cycle plays was unique in that the audience either stayed in one location and watched the plays as these waggons made stops at various locations, or the waggons would remain stationary as the audiences walked from waggon to waggon. These plays were performed under the watchful eye of the Roman Catholic Church to educate the largely illiterate population about the stories of the Bible.  

The notion of a procession dates back to biblical times: in fact, early Christians re-enacted Jesus’ procession from the Mount of Olives into Jerusalem at the actual locations. In this play, each of the six scenes will be performed at different locations.

Scene I.  Nativity/ Beginning of Jesus’ ministry at First United Methodist Church.

Scene II.  Sermon on the Mount / Woman touches Jesus’ robe — Pageant waggon at Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Scene III.  Jesus’ Triumphal entry into Jerusalem – along 14th St.

Scene IV.  Last Supper /Jesus’ arrest — Pageant waggon on lawn at St. John’s Church.

Scene V.  Crucifixion — roof of St. John’s Church.

Scene VI.  The empty tomb — First Baptist Church

In the event of rain, performances will be given at First United Methodist Church in the gym. Transportation for the elderly and handicapped from one scene’s location to the next will be provided by First Baptist Church. The performance will last approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. The performance will feature a cast of 43, a chorus of 34, and live animals.

Parking is available at each of the participating churches.

The event is free and open to the public.

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