Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts (BA)
School of Theatre and Dance
The focus of this contextual and reflective essay is to explore the relationship between the medium of theatre and the conveyance of religious tenets, as well as the methods by which to do so in a manner beyond the rhetorical or didactic. By tracing specifically the historical interplay between theatre and the Mennonite denomination of Protestant Christianity, this essay argues for an effective and relevant correlation between the theatre and the church, for the purposes of understanding human nature, giving voice to universal issues of heart and spirit, and demonstrating implicit examples of creed—in this case, the question of peace. The research approach includes an examination of theatre’s relationship to religious institutions; a study of Mennonite identity as pacifist or peaceful; documentation of Mennonite scholars of theatre, and their understanding of the crossover between art and faith; and historical accounts of the war in the Balkans, which serves as the basis for the production aspect of the thesis. The creative culmination of this research is an original one-act play entitled Sanctuary, which draws from the above explorations and represents a marriage of theatricality and faith that investigates the Mennonite peace identity in the context of the historical siege of Sarajevo.
Stoll, Benjamin J., ""Sacred Spaces of the Stage": Proclaiming Mennonite Identity through Theatre" (2015). Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current. 107.