Blood Speaks, an ambitious stage production for the whole family which will be presented at the Sand Du Plessis Theatre in Bloemfontein on April 9, 10 and 11, asks questions that are relevant in an age when ISIS and other Islamist groups are committing atrocities agains Christians and other groups, says the project creator, Pastor Cornelis van Heyningen.
Incorporating multimedia, mass choirs, dance and drama, the show touches on historical events such as the crucifixion of Christ and the Armenian genocide a century ago in which an estimated 1.5million Christian Armenians were killed. The questions raised in the production are also pertinent to addressing problems faced in South Africa today, such as intolerance, crime, corruption, xenophobia, abuse and racial tension, he says. Questions such as “Can we learn from the mistakes of the past?” and “Should we choose revenge because of the facts or forgiveness because of the Truth”.
“There can be no rightful right for revenge or judgement, as only through the blood of Christ a new future in freedom is possible,” says Van Heyningen in a media release.
“We know how to learn from history, but our interpretation can destroy our nation or build it into the dream God has for us. An example to learn from, also in the context of the Armenian nation, is the interpretation from Hitler dictated to his Nazi troops about the Armenian genocide. Based on his interpretation of the events in the time of World War 1, he manipulated his troops to destroy millions of Jews in the centre of a second world war, by saying ‘Who after all speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?’”
Blood Speaks was debuted at Oranje Meisies Skool in 2013 and in 2014 it was performed at Jim Fouche High School in Bloemfontein. On each occasion the audience turnout exceeded the size of the venue. The Sand Du Plessis venue for next month’s show is the largest theatre in the Free State. The production is also a community project with many children and adults trained to fulfil different roles. Nearly 1 000 will participate in the Sand Du Plessis Theatre shows.
A core team of 12 cast and crew members are also touring South Africa throughout 2015 to train local people in the towns they visit in the various disciplines in order to include them in the show.