Entertainment Local

The Christians to hit Rosebud stage

By Monique Massiah, Strathmore Standard

The question of faith’s ability to bring people together, or divide is at the forefront of Rosebud Theatre’s new production called The Christians.


The setting of the play is in a mega-church where Pastor Paul’s congregation is about to complete a mortgage-burning ceremony for the new church.

There are now 1,500 members in the church, which started as a small store-front church about 30 years before. Pastor Paul is about to give a sermon. The church’s debt is paid, but the pastor also has some other news. But whether that news is good, or bad is unforeseen.

Judith Buchan plays the part of Jay, a church elder in The Christians.

She explains that the church is full of people on the day that Pastor Paul delivers a sermon about the future direction of the church.

“He takes a strong stand on one of those issues that can divide people at church, and it does divide the congregation and it’s kind of like it how it could happen in any family. It’s a church family, anybody who has been in a family I think knows there are different convictions about things within a family, and is going to find something they can relate to in the play,”said Buchan.

She noted that the play itself appeals to people who are church goers, but also people who have never gone, or a secular audience.

“I think what it does, is it helps us to look at one anothers’ motives behind the things that we do.

I think it’s a brilliantly written play,” said Buchan.

“It’s such an honour to be involved in it because I love plays that help me to become more human and I feel this is one of them, and I don’t think it matters what your background is,” she said.

“My character, I don’t have a strong opinion on the issue. I’m OK with both sides of the issue, but I am broken-hearted as I watch the relationships fall apart and as I see practical concerns in this huge church too with these fractured relationships,” she said.

Jay has witnessed the church at it’s very beginnings and now she asks the question, ‘ how can be treat one other this way?’

Buchan describes the pastor played by David Snider as magnetic, and a charismatic leader of the church.

“He is this larger than life character, but he’s very real as well and certainly as the play goes on he becomes more, and more real,” she said.

“The pastor is giving the sermon because he believes God has spoken to him, and it’s the wife who asks the question, who says ‘sometimes is really hard to know which voice is God and which is your own wishful self,’ which I think is really an important question the play is asking too,” said Buchan.

The Christians cast is comprised of David Snider who plays Pastor Paul, Heather Pattengale who plays Elizabeth, Jordan Cutbill who plays Joshua, Judith Buchan who plays Jay, Caitlyn O’Connor who plays Jenny, Cassandra Garbutt a live singer and Stephanie Lanting a live singer.

The play is directed by Morris Ertman, with scenic designer Carolyn Rapanos, costume designer Anna Schroeder, sound designer Paul Zacharias, and stage manager Naomi Esau.

The Christians by Lucas Hnath runs from September 22 to October 28 at Rosebud Theatre. For more information about Rosebud Theatre and ticket sales, please visit rosebudtheatre.com, or call the Box Office at 1-800-267-7553. 

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