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An estimated 6,001,500,000 Holy Bibles have been printed. Before the Gutenberg Bible was printed in 1450, however, most of the illiterate population’s access to the Bible was purely oral: a Jewish storytelling tradition that grew in the homes of the early Christian church and was later professed to the populace by church authorities.
“The Gospel According to Mark,” a dramatic one-person performance by Jeffrey Favorite at 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday at Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church, brings the tradition to Los Alamos.
Favorite’s fascination with the oral telling of Mark’s gospel has been simmering for seven years. In 2005, his solo performance of “Damien” at Los Alamos Little Theatre tested both his memory and his theatrical skills and whetted his appetite for more. A close friend from Massachusetts, Prof. Victor Hill, mentioned a modern day trend of verbatim performances of the “Gospel of Mark,” and Favorite found a few renditions on YouTube. It was not until November 2012, though, when a friend at Trinity on the Hill raised the possibility of the performance as an outreach to the Los Alamos community, that Favorite took the plunge.
And what a plunge it has been. Although he said he loves the beauty of the Shakespearean language in the King James Bible, Favorite wanted a performance accessible to all, even children. The drama is a verbatim rendition of Mark’s gospel from the Holy Bible, New International Version, 2011 edition. Written in AD 60-70, “Mark” tells the story of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.
In his quest for authenticity, Favorite committed to memory all 666 verses of the gospel. “I can’t guarantee that my version will be perfectly verbatim, but it will be very close,” Favorite said.
Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church is located at 3900 Trinity Dr. (corner of Trinity and Diamond). Doors open at 7 p.m. (open seating) with light snacks. Adult tickets are $5 and children younger than 12 are admitted free. For information or advance tickets, call 662-5107.