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Cleo and Pastor Jen are standing in the rubble that was Calvary Baptist Church. Two years ago they lost the lease, eight years ago half the congregation left in disgust, twelve years ago it was the second biggest megachurch in Alabama, thirty years ago they found the pastor unconscious in the basement, and last night...
A kaleidoscopic new musical tracing the lives of church leaders and congregants amid political movements, tragedies, and spiritual rebirth, A BURNING CHURCH is about an American institution fighting to survive a crisis of faith.
A Burning Church will be presented in Ice Factory 2020 not in its eventual form, as a fully-staged, full-length book musical, but rather as a presentation of the show's songs and scenes in the form of parables.
This iteration will be presented as a presentation of the show's songs and scenes in the form of parables -- providing space to imagine the role of the church in movements for liberation, as well as the form that church and theater can take when gathering is not possible.
Book and direction by Alex Hare
and Zhailon Levingston
Music by Nehemiah Luckett
Lyrics by Zhailon Levingston
A Burning Church
is being developed through New Ohio and IRT's two-year Archive Residency, with a premiere production scheduled for fall 2021. Hare, Levingston, and Luckett have also received the A Blade of Grass fellowship for socially-engaged art, which is supporting the team as they workshop the show in conversation with churches across the country.