Thursday, April 18, Christians around the world will begin Holy Week with the celebration of Maundy Thursday services.
Bellville United Methodist Church will mark this holy day with the presentation of The Living Last Supper. Performances will be at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. in the Methodist Activity Center (MAC), 234 South Masonic Street. These performances are free to the public; all are welcome.
This event has become an Easter tradition as BUMC offers this dramatic play every other year. Each time, more and more people from across the county and neighboring communities take time to come see the dramatic presentation of the Last Supper performed by local men.
This is an ecumenical presentation with actors from several churches in our area participating. These men come together months before Ash Wednesday to decide who will portray which disciple. They decide on costumes, memorize lines and build the sets.
Make-up, hair, facial hair and footwear all come into consideration when making this presentation as believable as possible.
In Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper,” one of the most well-known works of art of all time, da Vinci portrays the night before Jesus is crucified. It depicts Jesus at the center of the table, surrounded by the 12 apostles, the men he chose to be at his side that night. During this time, as Jesus was to share the bread and wine, he informed the apostles that one of them would betray him.
In this depiction, each apostle “comes to life” from the painting and tells his story, while the rest of the men remain still, as if they are in the painting. The audience sits in darkness, watching and wondering who really betrayed Jesus?
This year, Steve Lackey will serve as the narrator and Carrie Poffenberger will be the lone female character, portraying the servant woman.
Jesus will be portrayed by Hunter Nelson. His 12 disciples will be Andy Couch as Andrew; Rick Mann as James; Steve Honeycutt will be James the Lesser; John will be played by Gershon Gordon; and Dean Nelson will be Judas. Glenn Huebner will portray Matthew; Garrett Dornon will play Nathaniel; Mike Koehn portrays Peter; John Conley plays the part of Phillip; Jesse Skinner will be Simon the Zealot; Kenneth Stein portrays Thaddeus and Jason Samford plays the 12th disciple Thomas.
The Bellville Methodist Chancel Choir will provide musical accompaniment and an open table of Holy Communion will be offered to anyone who wishes to partake after the play is concluded.
There is no charge or admission fee for either performance but seating is limited. Organizers say the last time the play was presented, the first performance was 'standing room only.'