There are many ways BCACS students reflect on the Lord’s Passion – they study the scriptures, they attend the Stations of the Cross, they say the Sorrowful Mysteries on the Rosary. When they entered the eighth grade, they bring the Lord’s Passion to the stage.
“Watching the play in the past, it has always been really neat to see how the kids put themselves in the places of Peter, James, John, and Mary,” Don Shafer, St. Joseph Middle School theology teacher, said. “I think the kids really try to embrace and get into those parts as much as they can, and they really do a super job.”
This is Mr. Shafer’s first time directing the play, which has been passed from teacher to teacher for more than ten years. Although the script remains the same, each class leaves its own mark. This year seventh-graders Nathan Pawlowicz, Arianna Pontoni, and Cami Arroyo played the piano.
“We did add a seventh-grade influence this year,” Mr. Shafer said. “Tina Sprague [middle school science teacher] had the idea to add music during transitions. It turned out really nicely.”
The play is primarily an eighth-grade production, taking these Confirmation candidates on a unique journey with the Lord.
“How do the kids take on the role of Jesus, knowing how important that is beyond just knowing the lines?” Mr. Shafer said. “I think it’s the fact of representing, maybe in a very small fashion, what Jesus gave up for us. What does that really mean and how does that come to life in our own lives?”
Students spend nearly two months reflecting on these questions and memorizing their lines.
“[The hardest part was] demonstrating the struggle that Jesus went through and doing it with my whole person,” Ben Shafer, who played Jesus, said.
“As a narrator, I was trying so hard not to make a mistake and make sure I pronounced everything correctly,” Kathryn Keller said.
“[The best part was] being able to be Peter and share his passion for Jesus,” Pedro Reyes said.
Normally, the show takes place in St. Joseph Church, but due to ongoing roof restorations, it was moved to the school gym.
“It was different, just to get a lay of the land, to be able to know how we were going to move, our transition from one scene to the next,” Mr. Shafer said. “The administration did a great job helping the kids get to that transition point with practice.”
Challenges aside, on Holy Thursday, elementary and middle school students, as well as the greater St. Joseph community gathered to watch the Lord’s Passion as performed by our eighth-graders…and a few seventh-graders.
“The kids made me very, very proud,” Mr. Shafer said.