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Episcopal churches host concerts reinterpreting ancient stories in the #metoo era

Episcopal churches host concerts reinterpreting ancient stories in the #metoo era

Episcopal churches are among the venues hosting musical performances by Burning River Baroque, reinterpreting stories from the Bible, ancient mythology, and literature to “[highlight] issues and themes raised by the #metoo campaign.”

Cleveland Scene describes Burning River Baroque’s The Other Side of the Story: Untold Perspectives on Familiar Tales as “a program that takes on the issues of ‘toxic masculinity’,” while the group’s webpage explains:

Society’s collective understanding of history is biased toward the perspectives of those with the privilege and power to preserve their stories. The Other Side of the Story looks beyond this power imbalance to shed light on characters whose viewpoints are underrepresented. Drawing from ancient mythology, literature, and Biblical passages, this program of dramatic music highlights issues and themes raised by the #metoo campaign. From the Book of Judith (which is excluded from some canonical versions of the Bible) to the story of a Siren from her own perspective, we will show the ways in which ancient tales resonate in our communities today.

St Alban’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights and St John’s Episcopal Church, Youngstown, both in Ohio, are among the venues offering the dramatic concert.

The Revd Gayle Catinella is the Rector of St John’s, Youngstown. We asked why she felt that The Other Side of the Story was a good fit for the church’s program, and she responded via email:

St. John’s is excited to host this provocative event. When I announce it, and explain the premise, people’s eyes go wide. We want everyone to feel loved and welcome, and we also want to be challenging, to raise questions about how God wants the world to be. Music and art provide a pathway to explore some of the justice issues of our time. 

Read more about the program at Cleveland Scene, and on the Burning River Baroque website.

Photo by Alex Belisle, Burning River Baroque website


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