BY CATHERINE DURAND
As we go through Holy Week, one of the best ways to remember Jesus’ Passion is to watch it acted out by Franciscan University students.
The Living Stations, hosted by Christ the King Chapel, are traditionally presented by students of Franciscan University every year during Holy Week. This year, there were performances on Monday evening and Friday morning.
Clara Bauer, the second-year director of the Living Stations, referred to it as an “established tradition,” and explained that when it comes to length of time devoted to rehearsals and preparation, a general rule is “the earlier the better.”
Bauer explained that one of the greatest difficulties involved in producing the Living Stations is letting people know what’s going on. She said, “It’s best to have a lot of people involved; spread it by word of mouth.”
Bauer explained that she has had little difficulty getting actors involved. She also commented on the ease with which she and the cast communicated.
“We tend to get along really well,” she said.
Bauer added that one of the most important parts of producing the Living Stations was to “make it as moving as possible.” She explained that part of that was remaining true to the actual events of the past, and remembering, “This is what you’re doing historically.”
As an example, she mentioned the piece of cloth that was used to cover Jesus’ face during the Living Stations. “That is historically what they would have done to someone who was crucified, and had their face disfigured.”
Another one of Bauer’s directing techniques is to let the cast take their costumes home with them. She explained that this allows the students to feel more comfortable in their role and to adjust the costume however they want.
“Everyone arranges their costumes differently,” she said.
Bauer added that there is one small problem involved in the costuming, particularly the costume of Jesus: “It’s really difficult to cover the tattoos ‘Jesus’ may or may not have.”
She also mentioned that it is very important for the actors to “identify with the characters,” and that the actor who plays Jesus “has the closest struggle.”
Josh Mazrin, who acted the part of Jesus, also commented on the difficulty of playing Jesus, explaining that the hardest part was “the nailing on the cross.” He described it as “legitimately terrifying.”
He added that his favorite station is when Jesus meets his Mother.
“I have a very strong bond with our Blessed Mother,” he said.
The best part, commented Mazrin, was that “It’s real. It’s so much more than you can imagine.”
“It’s just the reality of God’s love,” he said. “The reality of what he did for us.”