1812 Productions is pleased to present the original comedy, The God Project, written by Sean Close and Jennifer Childs and featuring Close, Childs, and Philadelphia theatre powerhouse Joilet Harris. David Bradley directs the production in his debut with 1812. The God Project will play from April 25 thru May 19 at Plays & Players Theatre. Opening Night will be Wednesday, May 1 at 7:00pm. Tickets and information are available at www.1812productions.org or at 215-592-9560.
The God Project is the story of Drew and Sheila, two co-workers at an overstocked Swedish furniture store. Sheila is kind and zealous, Drew is standoffish and bitter. They discover some unlikely common ground, however, when they realize that they are both Pastor’s Kids (PKs). Having left, or been kicked out of, church life, both have landed in this packed warehouse, assembling pieces of Swedish furniture with names that don’t make sense and waiting for the next sign from the universe, message from God, or appearance from their uncanny manager, Val. The God Project illuminates the hopes, frustrations, anger, and faith of two everyday people in the middle of a journey, one kuggstång at a time.
“I’ve been interested in doing something about theology and laughter for a while,” says co-creator and performer Jennifer Childs. “I love and believe theologian Karl Barth’s quote, ‘laughter is the closest thing to the grace of God.’ In some ways it encapsulates 1812’s mission. I grew up with a pastor father and a vaudevillian grandfather so bible verses lived right along side one-liners like, “Get off the table Mabel that two bucks is for beer.” God and humor have always been connected for me.”
Childs and Close, both children of pastors, found their unique connection backstage at Plays & Players Theatre in 2017. Both are ensemble members of 1812’s annual political comedy This Is The Week That Is and made their discovery when they both arrived for rehearsal carrying copies of the book Falling Upward by Franciscan friar Richard Rohr. Sean Close says, “When the team first gathered, David Bradley, Christopher Colucci who is doing sound, myself, and Jen, we sat in a room and just talked. We talked about our journeys with God. We talked about how we were raised. We talked about our beliefs now. We talked about where and how we see God and how God is thought of and talked about now. We laughed some. We cried some. Together, we found the whisper of the story we wanted to tell. Finally, Joilet Harris joined in our workshops, and we were ready.”
The God Project welcomes Scenic Designer Colin McIlvaine in his first project with 1812 Productions. Sound Designer Christopher Colucci joins other returning artists Lily Fossner, Lighting Designer, and Rosemarie McKelvey, Costume Designer to complete the production team.
Childs continues, “There is so much overlap in church and theatre forms. Where else do we go and sit with a group of people to hear the same stories over and over again and try and find something new in them? Where else is there pageantry, ritual, call and response? The God Project is all about having questions, and ultimately putting it together yourself in ways that may not make sense, but that’s what’s so funny about this big journey we’re on. When logic and belief don’t line up but you make the leap anyway—that’s where the joy and and the laughs are.”
The God Project will have an open-captioned performance in English on Sunday, May 5 at 2:00pm. The show will also have a bilingual performance on Wednesday, May 8 at 6:30pm with the performance in English and open-captioning in Spanish. We are honored to welcome back our translator Fernando Mendez, a board member of Congreso de Latinos Unidos, founding member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Executive Director of USALA Media.
The God Project will play April 25 thru May 19 at Plays & Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey Place, in Center City, Philadelphia. Opening Night will be Wednesday, May 1 at 7:00pm. Tickets range from $28-$44 and are available at 215-592-9560 or at www.1812productions.org.
The God Project is part of The Phoebe & Otto Premiere Series. This production is supported in part by The Charlotte Cushman Foundation.