"We are going to tell you an old and familiar story."
Born in Corpus Christi, Texas in the 1950s, Joshua is a gay man who also happens to be the son of God. Terrence McNally’s contentious work is a modern queer retelling of the gospels depicting Jesus and the Apostles as gay men living in modern-day Texas. Known as the queer passion play, Corpus Christi follows Joshua from his birth in a seedy motel room to his senior prom, from gay disco to death by crucifixion. Often called blasphemous by religious protestors, this controversial play thoughtfully reframes the identity of the Christ figure while unpacking his essential lessons of love and faith.
Of Special Note: Premiering in New York City in 1998, The New York Times published an article linking the uproar in response to the production to the death of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard. Matthew Shepard's death inspired the creation of The Laramie Project to be proudced by Iron Crow Theatre in June of 2018.
Please note that Corpus Christi explores mature themes, contains adult language, sexual content and violence.
Corpus Christi may not be suitable for patrons under the age of 18.
* Denotes Iron Crow Theatre Artistic Associate
Written by Terrence McNally. Directed by Sean Elias with Stage Management provided by Rose Hansen. Dialect Coaching by Teresa Spencer. Set Design by PJ Carbonell with Lighting Design by Thomas P. Gardner and Costume Design by Danielle Harrow. Religious Consultant Kyle Klein.
"A serious, even reverent retelling of the Christ story in a modern idiom—quite close, in its way, to the original…If the point is to make Jesus' teachings live for a contemporary audience, activist Christians should be hailing this play, not trying to suppress it…One of McNally's best, most moving and personal works. His updating of the Christ story is witty, but not patronizing, as sober and cleansing as a dip in baptismal waters." - Time Magazine.
"Corpus Christi imagines the coming of a second messiah…References to contemporary gay culture collide with talk of Roman Centurions. The apostles spread the gospel by day, disco down at night…Yet the essential truth at the heart of the play cannot be dismissed: If today a gay man arrived bearing the same gifts Christ brought to the world, his journey might end just as terribly." - Daily Variety.
"To see Corpus Christi the day Matthew Shepard was crucified on a Wyoming fence merely for being gay is to experience a jolt of recognition... Yes, McNally's Joshua/Jesus is gay; yes, the work is political and will offend some…McNally uses the Christ story to tell a contemporary tale of the fight against cruelty, division, hatred, and, above all, hypocrisy." - BackStage.
We are postponing our upcoming productions of Corpus Christi and The Laramie Project, originally scheduled for April and June, to dates later this summer. We continue to listen to, reach out and partner with local artists and community organizations committed to creating a safe and professional theatre environment, and we plan to hold a community dialogue and forum in mid-May to hear concerns and generate solutions for moving forward. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to be part of the conversation. In the meantime, we fully support the cast of Corpus Christi in their staged reading of the play.
Baltimore Theatre Project
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Baltimore, MD 21201