By Mark A. Leon
In a city, whose moral foundation rests on the principles of a supreme creator looking over and protecting us, comes the new satirical production ‘An Act of God’ by The Footlight Players.
Through the embodiment of local Charleston actor Robin Burke, the Holy City is visited by God for the next 15 days evolving our thinking through anecdotes, logical prose and insight.
This 90-minute evaluation of religion, humanity, evolutionism vs creationism, prayer and human existence is explained by God through the body of Robin. Written by David Javerbaum and performed from coast to coast by Sean Hayes and Jim Parsons, this beloved contemporary look at our struggles with values, principles and religion is told with humor, satire, a little bit of sarcasm and most of all a grain of salt.
Have you ever wondered if God is spiteful, narcissistic, eco-centric, mocking or just bored? Those questions and more will be answered in this revealing comedy.
During the production, God quips:
“Celebrities are my chosen people. I know, the Jews are also my chosen people, but there is a lot of overlap”
“I do not influence the outcome of sporting events to affect the winner. Are we clear? I only, on extremely rare occasions affect the outcome of sporting events to affect the spread.”
“I created the fish and the birds, but up until the last-minute I was going to put the fish in the sky and the birds in the sea! I’d conceived feathers as a means of
aquatic propulsion, whereas scales were designed with aerodynamic
lift in mind. Then when it came time to let the waters teem with life, on a hunch, I went the other way. Well, you know the rest: The birds’ feathers were perfect for flying, and the fish took to the water so naturally that to this day, the very
idea of a fish out of water is comical”
Why so many species? This is explained by the story of Day Six of Creation:
“Crazy day. Mammals, amphibians, reptiles, insects. 400,000 different
species of beetle. I just couldn’t get them right! They were all good, but they weren’t perfect. Then finally I made Leptinotarsa decemlineata, the Colorado potato beetle, and I thought, “Now that’s a beetle!” and I moved on.”
The premise of the play is simple, God is a little bit bored with the Ten Commandments and how they have been abused and misinterpreted over the years, so the decision is made to embody a human on Earth and reveal the “New” Ten Commandments.
Over the duration of this one act play, God, along with his two angel sidekicks, uncover the mystery of existence.
Without any understanding that his body has been taken over, Robin Burke expresses the words of God through his vocals, behavior and body language. Our eternal creator enlightens us with why masturbation is bad, why floods occur and children get cancer. We explore the idea of why bad things happen to good people and why guns may not exactly be a “God given right”.
Whether you are religious, spiritual, atheist or cynical, this is a night at the theatre you will want to explore and enjoy.
The roles of angels Michael and Gabriel, on two sides of the moral spectrum working in conjunction to influence the word of God are played beautifully by R. Karl Bunch and Clyde Moser. Their careful recommendations about a world without pain, illness and hate anger God, but earn his respect and have our eternal Creator questioning all the eternal acts of pious behavior over the last several thousand years.
Robin Burke portrays the role of a God that at times, lacks judgement, sense of responsibility, moral conviction and empathy. In a way, he was having the audience look at themselves through his eyes as we are all created in his image. Through a series of satirically framed stories from creation to present, we begin to see the insanity we have created on Earth with war, fear, hatred and pain. We look for blame, when it is us who must take on responsibility for our actions and decisions.
At times, Robin portrayed some imperfections, adlibbing a few pieces of dialogue and showing all of us that we are filled with imperfections and they are what makes us all unique.
As late night comedy and sketch comedy mock our own behavior while instilling a sense of hope, so too does God.
By the end of the performance, many will debate free will vs destiny, the importance of prayer and the humorous journey we call life.
Don Brandenburg directs this lighthearted look at ourselves narrated by our creator. It introduces serious principles and theories, but explains them with humor, tact and a little bit of creative logic.
Come see An Act of God and then decide for yourself.