April 18, 2014

On April 27, the Vatican will live-stream a ceremony elevating Karol Wojtyla, later known as Pope John Paul II, to sainthood. Storm Theater and Blackfriars Repertory Theater have devised an alternative way to celebrate the pope, reviving his 1949 play, Our God’s Brother, translated by Boleslaw Taborksi, at the Theater of the Church of Notre Dame. Our God’s Brother chronicles the life of Adam Chmielowski (Jed Peterson), a Polish religious brother who was canonized in 1989 (by John Paul II). A painter of some note, Chmielowski ultimately decided to abandon his art. He believes his paintings have a spiritual quality, that “a picture is capable of dissecting a man, transforming a man.” Still, he concludes that feeding, clothing and living among the poor matters far more than his canvases — a choice that clearly resonated with Wojtyla, who abandoned the theater for a life of service.