August 27, 2008

Painting Comes to Life

By Laura Zahn Pohl Daily Herald Correspondent

The Christmas decorations were barely put away when members of Heritage Presbyterian Church started rehearsing for their performance of "The Living Last Supper."

Their one-hour musical reenactment of the Last Supper before Jesus' death will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday at the church, 965 N. Kuhn Road, Carol Stream.

The performances are free and members of the community are welcome to attend.

"We started practicing Saturdays in early January, plus extra time during the week," said Lisa Wroth, who will appear in the production as one of the village women. "We had a lot of music to rehearse and some of our actors didn't have a musical background."

"The Living Last Supper" brings to life the scene captured in the famous Leonardo da Vinci painting, showing the last meal Jesus shared with his 12 apostles before his death on a cross. The drama is designed to capture the emotions and relationships of the disciples as they share their private thoughts and reaction to Jesus' prediction that one of them would betray him.

The Rev. Jerry Deck, church pastor, will serve as narrator and 20 other church members are involved as actors.

"The actors playing the disciples have developed their own monologues based on their own research in the Bible," Wroth added.

This will be the third time that members of the church have performed the drama. The idea was first introduced to the congregation in 2004 by the Rev. Dick Anderson, who was serving as an interim pastor. Anderson was a co-author for the script, which he used at other churches, as well.

"Even though we're a small congregation, he convinced us to do it and it was a great experience," Wroth said. "We performed it again in 2006 and this represents our third effort."

Wroth, who serves informally as choir director, worked on updating the music. For example, she's incorporated a flute solo and changed several other songs.

"All the music is appropriate for what's happening," she said.

Also new this year will be an invitation to the congregation to come forward during the meal and share the sacrament of communion at the table with the performers.

"We're excited to present this drama again," Wroth said. "It's a wonderful script and we're put a lot of time into it."

For details, call (630) 665-4121.

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