Review by BEN BOQUISTJune 23, 2017 certified reviewer
What I liked
The dialogue, the cast, the direction and the themes
What I didn't like
My overall impressionI saw this play almost a week ago and haven’t stopped thinking about it since. The writing is phenomenal, smart and tense. Kind of like game of thrones meets house of cards with a little bit of 12 angry men. The cast is phenomenal. Especially Meletius, but honestly, no weak members here.
And what makes them so great is their ability to spout off dense paragraphs of theology in a way that sounds spontaneous and personal. These characters are smart people, and largely, godless people. Which is why this whole set up is so haunting.
There is only one woman in the cast, and she spends most of her time validating and caring for the men. They, meanwhile, argue passionately about which pieces of theology should be cemented into Christianity’s orthodoxy.
But after a few scenes, The play makes you question their motives.is this really about arriving at the truth? Or are these aggressive alpha males vying for dominance in a new empire?
The character of Arius is the one whose thoughts we glimpse the most. And playwright Tricia Aurand makes him a very flawed and selfish person.
In addition to the complex characters, beautiful language and tense power dynamics, there’s also a fascinating commentary on the nature of Christ. Was he God? Was he man? What is his essence? Why does it matter?
But it never answers those questions. It just gives passionate characters ample room to argue their points.
Another standout her is Eusebius who (spoiler alert) as a eunuch, seems to be less obsessed with “truth” which is to say being right, than his macho peers.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed and got lost in this thoughtful look at the toxic masculinity behind Christianity’s political movement.