“Church”, written and directed by experimental playwright Young Jean Lee, is flying to Minneapolis on the wings of a flurry of positive press for its creator. Lee has received a great amount of press in recent weeks, including an article in the New Yorker, a front page review in the New York Times for “The Shipment”, as well as a write up in the Village Voice, Time Out, and two New York Times articles for “Church”. Lee was voted best New York provocative playwright in 2007 according to the Village Voice.Church is being performed this week only Thursday through Saturday at 8pm at The Walker Art Center’s McGuire Theater. Click here for tickets.
“It’s an unorthodox contemporary worship service, complete with sermon, praise dancing and a gospel choir… Her slyly subversive drama ambushes its audience with an earnest and surprisingly moving Christian church service that might be the most unlikely provocation produced in years.” Click here to read the complete New York Times Review of Church.
Even as Church’s charismatic and left-leaning central preacher defies traditionally held Christian assumptions, he conveys a passionate message about religion having the power to transform lives, backed up by three female ministers. Hear the word and feel the power as the preaching, dance, and a full gospel choir deliver “a work so enjoyable, so intricate, and so thought-provoking [that] it’s only appropriate to give thanks and praise” (New York Sun).
Young Jean Lee on writing “Church”: ” The premise that all of my shows begin with is, I ask myself the question, “What is the last show in the world that you would ever want to make?” Then I force myself to make that show. My whole aesthetic is about fighting complacency. So if I make a show that goes against my instincts of what I want to do, that creates a very tense and complicated dynamic. For “Church” the last show in the world I would ever want to do was an evangelical Christian service that’s sincerely trying to convert the audience to Christianity, and that’s not ironic or a joke or making fun of Christianity at all. That just seemed like a real nightmare and a challenge for me, and it has been.”
Click to read more of “Faith Confronted, and Defended, Downtown” an interview with director Young Jean Lee and Lear deBessonet in The New York Times.
On Young Jean Lee’s new work “The Shipment”:
“Critics have lavished praise on “The Shipment,” which Ms. Lee also directed and whose run has been extended until Saturday in New York. In his review in The New York Times, Charles Isherwood called the play “a subversive, seriously funny new theater piece.” The New Yorker also gave “The Shipment” a warm and lengthy review — an unusual laurel for a young, relatively unknown writer. ” (New York Times)