I have prepared a reflection in the form of a critique of William Duncan’s play “HolyHolyHoly” which is scheduled for live performance May 2, 3, 4, 2014 at the The Sullivan County (NY, USA) Dramatic Workshop (details below). In deference to the tradition of not commenting on dramatic productions until they are performed, my reflection will be posted on this blog at that time.
But I have read the play and I feel I would be justified in offering my reactions in advance because they are directed at the religious ideas and not the esthetic or entertaining features of the play. Plays are living things that include the insights and personality resources that the actors and audience bring to the performance as well as the playwright. I live too far away to be part of that experience and I would not be able to comment on the play as performed. I am working from the text alone so my religious critique tends to treat the play as if it were a disquisition, which it is not. I am not out to criticize the play as such but the religious attitudes embedded in it. I trust the distinction is acceptable.
For besides providing entertainment, I believe the author is also trying to say something universally significant about religion and our relationship to existence. It is in that context that my criticism is offered. Many are already familiar with the terms of this debate. The play focuses on issues that are at the heart of the perspective I espouse; it provides me with a unique opportunity to express my position in a form and with an energy that I would not have chosen myself. Still and all, any reader of my reflections who sees the play will have a broader and more lively context from which to judge my side of what I am re-conceiving more narrowly as an exchange. I encourage anyone who lives near enough, to make an effort to attend one of the three performances. Here are the particulars: