Drama. By Michael Johnson.
Cast: 1w. Ever new and varying legends have appeared over the centuries concerning the "thirteenth disciple" of Christ, the courtesan Mary Magdalene. Yet one thing rings constant in all of them: her story comes to us as the vivid archetype of the fallen, the prostitute in all of us being transformed and redeemed by an all-forgiving Grace. Discovering the burial shroud of Jesus after His resurrection from the garden tomb, and treasuring it as the symbol of the Eternal Beloved in her heart, Magdalene recounts and relives some of the most poignant and dramatic moments of her life: her innocent childhood; her rape at the hands of a Roman centurian; her wiles as a seductive courtesan; her desire for both Jesus the robust young carpenter from the north country and Jesus the Son of God; the casting out of her devils; and her dramatic ascent to Calvary with her Beloved. Consistent with the inner pilgrimage of Magdalene's soul from courtesan to the sister-bride of Christ, the language used is a rich, simple, biblical poetry. The play has been at once unanimously successful with church audiences in chancel settings and secular audiences in professional theatres, transcending the line that normally divides the two. Magdalene, the character, emerges not as the holy recluse of popular legends, but as a woman discovering her own femininity by being deeply touched and appreciated by a man. One simple set with minimum props.