A Man, a Crucifix, and a Conscience: Ecce Provides Provocative Perspective on the Man Who Authorized Christ’s Death
Sparing an innocent man’s life or sacrificing your political future. If the choice was in your hands, what would you do? Ecce begs this very question by providing a wholly unique and unexpected perspective on Pontius Pilate, the man responsible for authorizing the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Produced by recent George Washington University graduate-turned-producer Amanda Rhodes, Ecce spotlights the internal conflict Pilate contends with as he contemplates his decision about whether to put to death a known murderer who has won public support or an innocent man who has become the subject of despise. Unlike classic accounts of the event, which portray Pilate as arrogant and over-confident, however, in Ecce, Playwright AP Carroll characterizes him as a man who must balance his fears with a deep desire to serve the public good. However, it’s this intense fear, along with self-doubt, that wreaks havoc with his decision-making abilities. He understands that there will be personal consequences for doing “the right thing,” but he struggles with what the threshold for that is.
“I hope audience members will see in this modern Pontius Pilate someone they can relate to. It is easy to look at him and dismiss him as weak or cruel – one or the other – and while that’s not completely invalid, underneath his weaknesses lies a man who just really wants to help people,” explains Carroll. “Unfortunately, the pressure on Pilate builds and builds, as he has to contend with expectations coming from different directions, and not only does it starts to cloud his judgment, but his fear makes him jettison his ideals, and he loses his direction.”
In addition to the modified characterization of Pilate, the play transports the well-known Biblical story into modern political times and presents hard-hitting subject matter through a humorous yet thought-provoking script. Robes and sandals have been substituted with suits and ties, and thees and thous have been replaced with contemporary, aggressive “business man to business man” lingo between Pilate, Caesar, Caiaphas, and King Herod. The result is a play that provokes both laughter, as well as contemplation.
Rhodes was first introduced to the original play while she served as Student Theater Counsel President. “As soon as I read the script, I was blown away. Not only did I recommend that it be produced at GW, but I was determined to produce it in a professional theatrical setting because it was a story I believed needed to be told.” She was so sure, in fact, that soon after graduating, she launched her production company AJ Rhodes Entertainment to take on the production. “The script was amazingly well-written, and I knew that if I selected great actors to carry it out, it would be a play that would resonate with audiences.”
She, along with Director and George Washington University Theater Student Ed Churchill, will have the chance to find out if the prediction rings true when Ecce opens at the Capital Fringe Festival on Thursday, July 19th.
Show Dates & Times: Click on these performances to purchase tickets.
Warehouse Theatre (located inside The Passenger Bar and Lounge)
645 New York Ave, NW
By phone: 1.866.811.4111
Online at Ecce‘s Capital Fringe show page.
607 New York Ave,
Washington, DC 20001
For more information about Ecce, visit the website.