Whatever the merits of Wojtyla's work, celebrating the pope near Times Square, perhaps America's leading citadel to secularism, can still seem a bit incongruous. I asked Dobbins how he reconciles his Catholic missionary zeal with the essentially a-religious, socially liberal milieu of the theatre.
"Can it be a hostile environment sometimes? Sure," he said. "I'm all for a plurality of ideas. Everybody talks about that, but they don't seem to really want it. The entertainment industry actually seems terrified of it."
In the end, Dobbins said, the Storm Theatre is about injecting the faith into the cultural bloodstream.
"As a guy who rejoined the church in his 20s, I feel strongly that it's not enough to say Mass on Sundays, if those thoughts and ideas are not represented in the culture," he said.
"The reality is that we are going to act pretty much the way our culture teaches us to act. It's going to take lots and lots of people doing stuff like this, just so you're not being crushed by an opposite way of thinking, without any alternative."
"These ideas are eternal, they're the truth," he said. "They need to compete with the other ideas on all the other blocks around here. Not only do I think these ideas are just as good, I think they're better."
Monday, May 28, 2007
Karol Wojtyla's plays being performed in New York
John Allen highlights a small theater (and its dynamic, evangelical founder) in New York that is performing three of the late Pope's plays.