Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Great Passion Play: Okay, it’s been saved this year, but . . .

Posted by on Sat, Jan 12, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Well, the Great Passion Play in Eureka Springs has been saved from extinction - for at least one more season. The bank has been kept at bay, for now.

I have never seen the Great Passion Play, but I am familiar with the storyline, thanks to church and movies. I’m not among those who snicker at the thought of the Passion Play leaving Eureka Springs, though.

While it may be seem like a great joke to folks who don’t live there, it provides jobs and brings tourism dollars in, which ES fights for. And I’d rather have tourist dollars coming here, than some foreign country like Missouri.

And as a good (no, a most excellent) liberal, I realize that diversity means embracing everyone, not just the folks I agree with, or happen to like. I don’t allow folks around me to mock people who may live what some think of as “alternative lifestyles,” and I have the same lack of patience for those dimwits who think it is cute or a mark of their intellectual superiority to tar all Christians with the same brush, simply because they disagree with the political beliefs of some of them - or even most of them.

Sadly, though, while Eureka Springs itself might seem to be a model of diversity other communities might well wish to emulate - on the surface, at least - the folks who run the Passion Play have had less than charitable - even less than Christian, in my opinion - comments about many of the other folks they share a town with.

Almost as if on some level they have been discouraging folks from coming to their own play.

And while the promoters of the Great Passion Play may not believe in karma, this may be an example of it in action. Don’t foul in your own nest, dudes.

Defenders of the beleaguered Passion Play have come forward, and donated money to keep the ship afloat for yet another year. The trick is, though, to make it through 2013, and beyond.

Reading through the magical Internet, I have read that, according to some accounts, to save money, some of the dialog and music of the passion Play was prerecorded onto CDs, and some actors mimed their lines.

And then there is the problem of attendance - or lack of attendance, rather. Some see this as the result bad marketing. But whatever the cause, the theater has barely filled up - to put it mildly.

Recognizing that attendance in 2013 may also be a problem, promoters are offering the chance (for a $250 donation) to have a plaque placed on the back of seats, so that you can honor the memory of folks, or just have your donation recognized.

That’s not a bad idea, and probably should have been thought of a long time ago.

As I say, I’m not among the crowd of knuckle-draggers giggling at the thought of the Passion Play leaving Eureka Springs; it is unseemly for people who don’t live in a community to find amusement at the idea of it going broke - unless they plan to personally go up there every other weekend, and spend half of their pay checks supporting the local economy.

But if folks connected with the Great Passion Play want to publicly bash their friends and neighbors in Eureka Springs, well . . . the folks making fun of the Passion Play may not be the only knuckle-draggers around.

Well, thank God for Evolution, at any rate. There’s hope for us all.

******

Quote of the Day

One of the main troubles about going to Europe is that no one wants to hear about your trip when you get back home. Your friends and relatives are rife with jealousy and are not only sorry you went to Europe, but deeply regret that you came back. - Art Buchwald

rsdrake@cox.net

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