PACIFICA PERFORMANCE SHOWCASE
JM MORRIS’ “RELIGION: THE CONTENT OF THEIR CHARACTER”
AIRDATE: 07/25/09, 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.
HOST: Donna Walker
Today’s feature is JM Morris’ “Religion: The Content of Their Character”, theatrical monologues which tackle that most unifying and divisive of subjects, religion. Equal parts candid confessional, religious tutorial, and spiritual riff, its insightfulness reveals the all-too-human cracks in our various cosmic eggs. “Religion: The Content of Their Character” was originally produced at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica as part of their 2009 King Holiday celebration. These excerpts were directed by famed independent filmmaker, Charles Burnett, with select pieces directed by Darin Kuhlmann.
Act One is entitled “Is Now and Ever Shall Be” and is comprised of 4 pieces: “It’s All About the Buddha”, a satirical piece about an Asian-American convert from Christianity to Buddhism, stars actress Yaping and was directed by Darin Kuhlmann.
“Catholics Can Be Black, Too,” a semi-autobiographical, comedic treatment of what it’s like being a Black Catholic in a predominantly Protestant black community, is directed by Charles Burnett, and stars Candice Afia.
“An Untouchable Love”, also directed by Charles Burnett features Roopashree Jeevaji as a Hindu-American in a dramatic piece about how religious dogma can adversely impact families and society. And now, “An Untouchable Love.”
Act One concludes with “Always Remember the Old Testament Came First” in which we encounter the quintessential Jewish Mother showing us that the road to a son’s hell can often be paved with a hovering mother’s good intentions. It stars Linda Milazzo and was directed by Charles Burnett.
Act Two of “Religion: The Content of Their Character” is entitled “In the Beginning and In the End.” It begins with a two-part satire, featuring Ron Barba in dual roles, directed by Darin Kuhlmann. “There’s Something About Mary, For Real”, is set in 6 months B.C. around that Biblical water cooler, the water well. The second piece, “In the Name of Jesus” reveals a Southern Baptist’s minister’s struggles with Biblical conception (or misconception) and the New World order.
“Don’t Be Scerred, White People” offers a comedic peek into a minister’s unique race relations program, while “In Search of Real Christians” unveils church hypocrisy as a gay parishioner seeks to find a welcoming spiritual home. Both roles are played by T’Shaun Barrett and are directed by Charles Burnett.
Act Two concludes with Amro Salama in “We All Shine On,” directed by Darin Kuhlmann, which celebrates our commonalities and respects our differences. The scene is the booth of a weekly radio broadcast called “Seeing the Big Picture.
For further information, go to jmmorris.com. Copies can be ordered through the Pacifica Radio Archives.