The 37th production of “The Passion of Jesus in Music, Word & Light” will be presented on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 8-10.
Sponsored by the Shakopee Knights of Columbus, the production is a moving and memorable experience of reliving the final days of Jesus on earth through the story of his crucifixion and resurrection.
While the story remains the same, the presentation differs from year to year. Performers change, characters are added, and the lighting and scenery are adapted to accommodate script changes and new staging. Additionally, according to David Schmieg, the production’s PR coordinator, “If you haven’t attended for a while, it may be time to do so.
Father Erik Lundgren, pastor of the Parish of Saints Joachim and Anne in Shakopee, is portraying the role of Jesus, and Father Paul Haverstock, the associate pastor, is singing in the choir.
The biblical story takes us from Palm Sunday, as Jesus enters Jerusalem, to the Last Supper, and through his torture, death and resurrection. The production consists of 16 scenes that include narration, music and characterization. Prelude music precedes the presentation.
The production began very simply in 1981, as the brainchild of former Shakopee resident Dave Czaja to provide a form of Lenten meditation in preparation for Easter. Father Robert Cassidy, then pastor of St. Mark’s Church, wrote the original script. Directed by former Shakopee resident Mike Bemis, it has grown to include a cast of more than 40 members, an equal number of musicians, and a crew of over 20 working behind the scenes. All of the participants are from Shakopee and surrounding communities in the Twin Cities Metro area.
The performances will be held at St. Mark’s Church, 350 Atwood Street, in Shakopee. The Thursday and Saturday performances feature English narration. The Friday presentation features Spanish narration. The production begins at 8:00 p.m., with prelude music starting at 7:40. “The Passion of Jesus in Music, Word and Light” is open to the public. Admission is free. More information can be found at www.ShakopeePassionPlay.org.