Our school is pretty cool. Each May we have a week we designate as our Fine Arts Festival where we have band concerts, live theatre (that’s my category), and art displays. We hold it at the Penang Performing Arts Centre. It’s a great event. My original musical, “Boardwalk Melody”, will be debuting during that week this year. More on that later.
The art department approached me a while back and said they they were going to make a replica of the Sistine Chapel. It will be about 8ft high, 12×8 ft in measurement. The young artists are working on recreating Michelangelo’s masterpieces for the ceiling, as well as a few of the other murals. The art department wanted me to write some dramatic sketches which could be performed in the chapel during the festival in order to help them understand the works.
I readily agreed and then quickly asked my writing buddy Jackie to see if she wanted to write one of the sketches while I took the other three. She agreed. And now they are all complete. I just finished editing Jackie’s sketch this afternoon, and it’s a fine script called “Reluctance”, it pairs Moses with Michelangelo as they banter back and forth talking about the art. It’s a fun dramatic piece that everyone will enjoy.
Here are the brief synopses of the three that I wrote which focus mainly on Michelangelo’s works:
Sketch 1: “The Greatest Heavyweight Fight of the Ages: Almighty God vs. Nothingness” – this one focuses on his works of creation from the viewpoint of a boxing broadcaster and his color analyst. It will be fun and entertaining.
Sketch 2: “Apathy” – this one focuses on the creation of man and woman and banishment from the Garden of Eden. I focused this one on God’s attempt to reach man but man’s continual lackluster and limp-wristed efforts to reach back to God. The imagery of the limp wrist, of course, comes from Michelangelo’s iconic painting of creation of man. It’s a fairly poignant and interesting piece.
Sketch 3: “The Life of Christ in Verse” – this one focuses on Rosselli’s and others’ paintings on the life of Christ. I decided to do something different on this and wrote a lyrical, rhythmic chant which combines the imagery and meaning behind the four paintings: Sermon on the Mount, Delivery of the Keys, The Last Supper, and The Temptation of Christ.
I really enjoyed writing these. I’ll be working with some of the actors over the next five weeks as they prepare for the mini-shows. It’s going to be a lot of fun and will bring some meaning and drama to the Sistine Chapel.
If you are going to be in Penang the week of May 22, please come and check it out!