- Debut of unconventional Setswana semi dramatic piece set for Maitisong
- Production reveals the conflict between people and the church as an institution
Christian churches in modern societies face tough competition not only from other religious groups, but also from secular institutions and the resurgence of atheism and modern day interpretations of the gospel.
“Another Devil on the Cross” which is slated for 13th and 14th December 2018 at Maitisong is of significant importance for Christians because it explores the difficult questions between religious faith and the church as an institution.
The director and writer of the production, Shabba Kgotlaetsho says the thought line behind the title of the musical is informed by the history and meaning of the cross as an object of hope for believers and the church in particular.
“This is true, especially when the cross is partnered with Christ. It is our worry that these days all communal hope is rested primarily with those who quash such hopes,” Kgotlaetsho explained.
The initial inspiration for the production was the 2017 sexual scandal that befell the local Diocese of the Catholic Church in Botswana. The production reignites the debate between religion and its expectations through multiple encoded messages taken from challenges faced by contemporary society; including false hope, betrayal, violence against humanity and issues surrounding homosexuality and God.
“As a writer of performance, especially an abstract writer, I can not single out each one of these for stage or screen. As a believer of the word and worshiper, faith and religion are the closest world to me. So, I always find myself writing and contextualizing thoughts and theories using religion. When one observes the issues between spiritual faith and institutionalized faith, they cannot fail to pick the tension between the dogmas,” he said.
Kgotlaetsho went on to say that even though religion is touted as a spiritual refuge for mankind it has over generations became the source of unimaginable violence to humanity.
“As a religious person, I always find debates on homosexuality by other religious people and institutions ridiculous. Especially when we return to church and check out what exactly happens. I fail to find sense in an institution that has ungodly sexual practices to speak against homosexuality as if it’s the only practice not accepted by the Bible,” he pointed out.
Presented by Lepatata Arts ensemble, “Another Devil on the Cross” was written over a period of 17 months, rehearsed over 2 months and performed by 15 singers and 5 actors. “Our works are not mainstream and intended for an open minded audience. Therefore it is for the audience to come and draw their own meanings from the production,” he added.
Tickets are priced at P200 and now available at Maitisong Theater and House of Scents at Molapo Crossing.