Here are short descriptions of the main historic figures and terms referred to in A Mighty Fortress and its new Prologue.
Being a bit familiar with them in advance will definitely help you to appreciate the events more thoroughly.
HISTORIC PEOPLE AND TERMS FOR YOU TO KNOW:
John Wycliffe (ca 1320 to 1384): known as the “Morning Star” of the English Reformation, an Oxford seminary professor who publicly criticized the decadence of the clergy and the luxurious excess of the Church. He supported rendering the Scriptures into the language of the common people, and supervised a translation of the Bible from the Vulgate into Middle English. He died of a stroke in 1384. He was declared a heretic by the Catholic Church in 1415, and his remains were exhumed, burned, and cast into a river. Continue reading
It’s fairly obvious from the banner what WE are celebrating this year: all for One was founded 25 years ago this September. But by a happy coincidence, the very first play in our repertoire, A Mighty Fortress, concerns the events surrounding another significant anniversary this fall: 500 years since the start of the Protestant Reformation. That made it an easy decision to produce it as the opening show of our anniversary season.
The Reformation is generally agreed to have “officially” begun with Martin Luther’s nailing of his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517. He was calling for public debate concerning the Catholic Church’s practice of selling “indulgences” (reduction of the soul’s sentence in purgatory). This led to several confrontations with the secular and religious leaders of the day, culminating in his trial before Emperor Charles V.
A Mighty Fortress, which opens September 15, and stars Jadon Moore as Martin Luther, is a powerful one-man show which introduces the audience to Luther while he is in hiding in Wartburg Castle. He relives for his viewers the events which led him to his final break with Rome. Filled with humor and humanity, this hour-long performance is an important play for contemporary audiences’ understanding of Church history. Luther models for us a man with of courage, humility and wisdom.
Future blog posts will give a brief synopsis of events leading up to the Reformation; important historic people and terms; and a bibliography of sources for further reading.
For ticket information, go to our website: allforOnefw.org.