Don Reviews "The Christians"
On our show, we pride ourselves on doing our best to keep away from politics and religion, but sometimes it’s hard when we review something that strictly deals with hot button topics. One of the big question dealing with religion or even science is what happens when someone comes up with a idea that makes sense but goes up against what has been accepted for years or even centuries?
“The Christians” is the production written by Lucas Hnath and directed by Joel Ferrell. This production we viewed stars Chamblee Ferguson as Pastor Paul, Steven Michael Walters as Associate Pastor Joshua, Christiana Clark as Paul’s wife Elizabeth, Tyrees Allen as Elder Jay, and Lindsay Ryan as a member of the congregation and choir, Jenny. Taking place in a church that has grown to huge following over the years and celebrating the paying off of their mortgage, Paul gives a sermon that is so controversial, even Joshua questions it. What follows is what happens when people question faith, go against what has been believed, and what can happen to the church in its aftermath.
There is only one set and no changes at all, even in the props. The set is basically at the front of the church with the choir behind the cast, comprised of volunteers from all over the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and it works. There are only five people in the whole cast, except the choir in the back, which is a great touch. The whole cast did great, and they had great chemistry together. With Ferguson carry 80% of the entire show, he played the part well, with Walters also delivering in the supporting role of Pastor Joshua. He was not in the entire production, but he made an impact for the production in whole, which can also be said of Clark, Allen, and Ryan. The acting by all five was strong, but in the end I had to give it to Ferguson, because his role is the bulk of the production and he carried the load well.
The production is about ninety minutes long with no intermission, but it was the right length. It flowed well and kept me interested, and even though the subject matter has a small chance to offend someone of faith, the production does ask some very good questions which made me think. This production is not anti-Christianity or takes jabs at the world of religion: it just asks a good question and made me feel like I was at church while giving me a glimpse of what goes behind the scenes in the business world of a church and how complicated it can get. I really did enjoy the production and would recommend it, even to someone who has a deep faith as back of the middle section in the theater.