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Thinking about Adventism

By Alexander Carpenter

Over at Professor Julius Nam hosts an interesting series of interlogues (with Professor Ron Lawson) on the socially-driven changes to our community and (with PUC Theater Director Mei Ann Teo) on the upcoming play on Ellen White.
From the latter:
Why a play on Ellen White?  What inspired you to do this project?
The inspiration for this project came about 5 years ago when I was
still a student at PUC. I happened to attend Choir Room Sabbath School
when Paul McGraw
gave a presentation on the Shakers. He found this pattern. The first
generation, who is still alive with the founder or leader, considers
the person an enlightened leader. The second generation, after the
leader dies, lifts that person up onto a pedestal, and makes that
person perfect, inerrant, unique. The third generation tears the
pedestal down. The fourth generation is left with nothing. He then
asked the group—could this apply to us? There was a visceral reaction
in the room. Being more or less a member of the fourth generation, I
understood that there was a wound, but didn’t understand if it had a
scab, or if it was festering, or how large it was. But I knew that
there was much that was unresolved.
What is theater if it is not to address the difficult questions? Not
to answer, but to seek for answers. Theater brings a community together
and provides a common experience that is shared—an experience that is
heightened by the convergence of time, space, and an audience made up
of people that you might not find in the same room otherwise. I wanted
to extend that idea to the stage, to bring together the perspectives of
Ellen G. White that would not be found openly voiced together. These
are voices that may be heard from the pulpit, in magazines like Spectrum,
or in the privacy and intimacy of one’s home. These are voices that may
have been heard many a time before, or never at all. In the play, they
all exist together—juxtaposed in a brief space and time, as a microcosm
of our community.

I’m going.

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