Posted by: normanlgreen | September 6, 2011

Dream, September 6, 2011 Church musical

Dream, Home 5;11 am

In a modestly-scaled Christian church built during the 1970’s, rehearsals for a musical gospel story. The cast assembles for the first time to go over the script and to meet the lead actor. The man to play the Christ is the only professional, though some of the cast see themselves as pros. The lead stands up by the pulpit while the rest of the cast and the woman pastor/director all sit out in the pews. I am running late and join the others in taking a seat along the left wall in the bright, white plaster board sanctuary.

One of the women in the cast is upset about the crucifixion and asks pointedly what God thought the significance of the act and why he thought it important for us as people. I sit near the questioner, so I start to improvise an answer, but I am cut off by the director who asks that our lead and stand-in savior give his interpretation. He talks of his experience traveling the country reprising this role, but never addresses the question. He wears a red beard and speaks with his hands, which inevitably come to be held out in a wide symmetrical gesture.

The cast is given a short break. I look for a room to have some privacy, but walk in on people talking in small groups. When I do find a quiet spot, the director and another woman walk in on me. The chair I find is strangely wedge-shaped and uncomfortable, so I take the air in a breezeway between the main building and a free-standing office.

As I look across at the small brick building, three of the cast, one tall man with a pretentious bearing, an attentive woman with horned-rimmed glasses and a smaller, almost invisible man come out through the office door. The light is on inside as it is nearly dark outside. The bluff gentleman brags that he simply had to smoke all three of his Cuban cigars while they ran their lines. He holds the cylindrical canisters in which he brought them. I call across that I hoped he had not been smoking inside the building. “Of course not,” he laughs, but I can see swirls of smoke behind him in the room as the last man closes the door. I find the butt-end of a cigar in my hand and nearly smoke it, when I realize what I am doing. Feeling queasy, I put the cigar into an ashtray standing near a bench.


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