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Richmond Catholic Theatre group to perform at World Youth Day, possibly in front of Pope Francis
July 14, 2016
We're Going to World Youth Day!
June 10, 2016
Patrick Michael Clark, Addie Barnhart, Patrick Lowry, Richard Arena and Christine Arena, all members of the Richmond Catholic Theatre perform at The Church of the Epiphany in December 2015. The Arenas founded the theater group and are leading seven members to Poland at the end of the month. Photography by David Hillgrove
Adam Stynchula, 22, of Richmond is one of the members of the group that might perform in front of the pope this month in Poland. Also pictured, McLean Jesse. Photography by Victoria Rose.
Christine Arena of Richmond (left) acted at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in February with her husband, Richard (right). The couple are leading a Richmond Catholic Theatre trip to Poland this month during which the group will perform “The Jeweler’s Shop” for World Youth Day in Krakow. Also pictured, Mariea Terrell. Photography by Victoria Rose.
By JUSTIN MATTINGLY Richmond Times-Dispatch |
Five members of the Richmond Catholic Theatre rehearsed earlier this week in a nearly empty Saint Benedict Catholic School. The crowd was about 3 million fewer than the one they’ll be performing for at the end of the month.
The theater group received a rare invitation to perform at World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, on July 28 and 29. Among the millions expected to attend is Pope Francis.
The seven-person cast, made up of young adults, will perform “The Jeweler’s Shop: A Meditation on the Sacrament of Matrimony, Passing on Occasion into a Drama,” which was written by Pope John Paul II.
“It’s important to me that this is quality theater because this is a ministry and should be treated as such,” said Christine Arena, the managing artistic director for the theater group.
In its first formal rehearsal, the group focused first on staying loose — reciting popular fairy tales while tossing a baseball in a circle. Then they took to rehearsing the actual play in the empty library and bare hallways of the school.
The play is one of 40 acts that will be performed at the weeklong event.
The selection came as a surprise to Christine and Richard Arena, the husband and wife who founded Richmond Catholic Theatre. While the group was less than six months old at the time, Richard Arena had the thought of applying and seeing what would happen.
They found out June 10 — nine days before