Friday, October 31, 2008

Whatever Kindles

I received this today from CPT's news service. On this Samhain, I honor the memory of Tom Fox, of those of all nationalities who have died in the "War on Terror," and of those who have died in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Bluffton University is in northwest Ohio, an hour south of Toledo and ninety minutes north of Dayton.

- sm

31 October 2008
CHICAGO/TORONTO: Second production of CPT docudrama, Whatever Kindles, to be mounted

November 12-15, 2008 Bluffton University’s theatre department will perform Whatever Kindles, a fictional docudrama exploring the everyday experiences and struggles of members of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT). Written by playwright and CPT reservist Tricia Gates Brown, the docudrama takes its title from the words of St. Theresa of Avila, “Do whatever most kindles love in you. It features seven fictional CPT workers and an ensemble of supporting characters that share their experiences in Canada, Columbia, Iraq and Israel/Palestine through direct address to the audience and short vignettes. The play premiered at George Fox University in Oregon during the fall of 2007. A free script is available at

“ This production reveals to us the uncertainties CPT workers face,” said Dr. Melissa Friesen, play director and Mary Nord Ignat and Joseph Ignat Chair in Theatre. “The script recognizes the complexity within human responses to violence and oppression as we struggle to follow Jesus faithfully.”

Friesen chose the play because of its connection with Bluffton’s mission of service and peacemaking, and its parallel with the institution’s 2008-09 civic engagement theme: “Living in Uncertainty in a Complex World.”

Each evening production will include “talk-back” sessions with the audience. Friesen, CPT members, student performers and alumni, will engage the audience in dialogue about CPT and CPT members’ experiences. “Our hope is to create a space for thinking about critical issues of faith and our engagement with the world,” said Friesen. Sunday’s matinee performance will not include a talk-back session.

Several CPT reservists are lending their red caps—the signature uniform of CPT workers—to the cast as costume pieces for the production. Friesen hopes to establish a connection between CPT workers and members of the Bluffton production. “This is a unique opportunity,” she said. “The hats provide a symbol of the connection Bluffton is trying to establish between theatre and the wider community. By loaning the hats, CPT is supporting the production in a very tangible way, creating a joint effort to provide the audience an opportunity to see the fulfillment resulting from putting faith and nonviolent commitments into action in risky ways.”

Additionally, George Fox University is allowing Bluffton to use scenic projections designed for the premiere.

Whatever Kindles will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Nov.12-15, and at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 16, in Ramseyer Auditorium. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and students. Tickets may be reserved through the university box office by calling 419-358-3239 or e-mailing

In conjunction with the production of Whatever Kindles, 1984 Bluffton graduate Kathleen Kern, a member of CPT since 1993, will make a public presentation on November 14 about the work of Christian Peacemaker Teams as part of launching the newly published CPT History, In Harm’s Way: A History of Christian Peacemaker Teams (Cascade 2008).

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