posted January 20, 2010

Screening and Discussion of “Seven Passages” on Jan. 29

The departments of English, religion and theatre are sponsoring a free screening of the film "Seven Passages" on Friday, Jan. 29, at 7 p.m. in the DeWitt Center main theatre.

Tickets are not needed for the event.  The house will open at 6:30 for general admission seating.

The film includes the seven biblical passages that address same-sex relations, and a script drawn from interviews with 127 Christians in West Michigan.

Following the film there will be a panel discussion with director/playwright Stephanie Sandberg; Jean Bahle, an actor in the film and assistant professor of theatre; Dr. David Myers, professor of psychology; and Dr. Steven Hoogerwerf, associate professor of religion.

"Seven Passages" was originally commissioned as a play by Actors' Theare in  Grand Rapids, written and directed by Stephanie Sandberg and performed in the fall of 2007.   The play has also been produced locally at Western Michigan University and Grand Valley State University, and at Lambeth, the international gathering of the Episcopal Church, in the summer of 2008.

In an effort to extend the reach of the production, a film adaptation of the work was created by Sandberg and the actors of the original production.

The Actors Theatre Web site, http://actorstheatregrandrapids.com/actorsoriginalworks.html, describes the intent of the production: "The goal of Actors' Theatre's production of Seven Passages: The Stories of Gay Christians was to get beyond the current rant and impasse of our cultural climate in the ideological relationship between homosexuality and Christianity. By presenting the authentic stories of local gay and lesbian Christians, Seven Passages moved audiences into the realm of true empathy and understanding."

The DeWitt Center is located at 141 E. 12th St., on Columbia Avenue at 12th Street.