Queering Christianity: Finding a Place at the Table for LGBTQI Christians

By Robert E. Shore-Goss; Thomas Bohache et al. | Go to book overview

11
Communion:playing
with redemption

Nic Arnzen and Corpus Christi

As a Catholic boy growing up in Iowa, each week I dreaded Sunday mornings when my mother bellowed from her room that it was time to get to church. My parents would drag us to mass where I literally counted the minutes until it was finished. On the mornings where I wasn’t recruited to step in for a missing Altar Boy I found myself scouring the pew and church for something, ANYTHING interesting. I’d play a game with the bible where I tried to see how many times I could read the same line the priest was reading before he got through it. I’d imagine a Poseidon Adventure scenario where the church was upside down and wondered how

Note from Robert E. Shore-Goss: Thomas Bohache speaks of the event of Pentecost that the
Christ Spirit cannot be contained: He writes, “The queer Christ animates his/her followers
to speak to others in their own languages: this tells me that there are many diverse ways to
tell the Christ story and to share the Christ Spirit.” Nic Arnzen and I met to discuss perform-
ing Corpus Christi. I used the play in Queering Christ, but we both wanted to queer the play
further with a cast of women and men, instead of 13 men that the play was originally cast.
Queer Christ, for a number of the contributors, is an empowered Christology that compre-
hends queer people finding and reflecting the Christ in their own experience. Many of the cast
were alienated from church or temple because of religious homophobia. But the first night
before the performance at MCC in the Valley, I found the cast hands joined and in prayer.
This tradition has continued with every performance. The cast found their spirituality in Ter-
rence McNally’s play, and it became a missionary effort to tell the story of the queer Christ
against the backdrop of religious homophobia and bullying of LGBT youth. The play went
to the Scotland Fringe Festival, the Dublin Gay Festival, and Off-Broadway for two weeks.
But the spirituality of the play and community drove them to create a documentary: Playing
with Redemption
.

-229-

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