St. Helens church production blends current day with historical characters in play held on Good Friday

GRAPHIC COURTESY OF COLUMBIA RIVER FOURSQUARE CHURCH -     The Columbia River Foursquare Church in St. Helens will be hosting a single performance of "Jesus on Trial" on Friday, March 30 at 7 p.m.

Tom Weaver, the play's director, said the show features a blend of biblical characters, including Jesus Christ; his mother, Mary; disciples Matthew and Peter; and Nicodemus, who was a member of the Jewish ruling class, along with modern day judges and attorneys in a courtroom setting.

The play tells the story of Jesus Christ being placed on trial, and incorporates the events that led to his crucifixion.

"This play is really designed to be presented before Easter because it's about the events that lead up the death of Christ before he arises on Easter," Weaver said.

Weaver selected the production because of its characters.

"I've been looking for years for an Easter play that isn't just the same thing over and over," Weaver said. "This blends period and present day."

Ten people make up the cast and have been rehearsing twice a week since February. When selecting the cast, Weaver wanted to make sure younger members of the church were also incorporated into the production.

"The first thing I wanted to do was to make sure we could use some of the our youth, so the primary roles I gave to the high school students," Weaver explained.

Weaver, who is a retired high school theater director, said working with the students has been very rewarding. He said he has enjoyed helping the actors develop skills and become more confident.

"There are many things that excited me about this play. I've taken a couple student actors who have never really done anything serious and developed them to the point that they are serious," Weaver said. "There's a lot of joy in that for me. I like building people up."

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