Summary: Theophilus, a grieving widower, receives the Gospel message from his physician, Dr. Luke (who has just rescued him from his attempted suicide). When alone, Theophilus talks to his deceased wife, Teodora. Ten months earlier, lying in her death bed (seen in flashback), Teodora exhorted Theophilus to believe in Jesus. Until that morning when her fatal disease claimed her, Teodora’s deep faith in the Lord was unbeknown to him. Now, enabled by the Holy Spirit to truly hear Teodora’s testimony, Theophilus vows to her that he will learn all that he can about Jesus. While reading Dr. Luke’s sacred narrative, he pauses often to share his thoughts with Teodora. During what will be the most important night of his life, the “living Word” opens the mind and heart of Theophilus to God the Holy Spirit’s ministry of conviction at work in his soul. He discerns that he is being asked to make his decision about Jesus’ calling on his life (“Who do you say that I am?”) As sunlight illuminates his bed chamber, the audience witnesses Theophilus’ transformation from a bitter and hopeless man into a joyful new believer trusting in God’s promise of eternal life: lived in that place prepared for him (and his Teodora, he is now certain) by Jesus Himself; fulfilling His Father’s perfect will for His adopted-by-grace human sons and daughters, dwelling with God in a community of true peace and great joy.
Style: Dramatic. Duration: 2 hours 30min (approx.)
Actors: 15M, 14F, 1C.
MET is a work for the musical theater but, it is a hybrid form merging the one-man play with an opera. All of the Gospel events Theophilus reads about are presented to the audience operatically. Like a traditional musical, the “leading man” will sing five of the show’s twenty five songs so he should be a very strong tenor (or high-range baritone).
CAST REQUIREMENTS: Most Excellent Theophilus (MET) requires a thirty member cast (fifteen men, fourteen women and one pre-adolescent boy). Half of those cast must be vocal soloists (S, A, T and B). Every cast member will perform multiple character roles. Smaller-size theater groups-congregations with fewer singers available to them can utilize the split-track soundtrack’s “Music with Background Vocals” option (allowing their non-singing actors-actresses to lip-sync the background vocals). The actor-singer performing the lead role of Theophilus must be capable of “carrying” a one-man play. He will be interacting with just three other actors, in the opening and closing scenes only. MET is a hybrid theatrical form that merges an opera with the aforementioned one-man play. However, like more traditional musicals, MET’s leading man will sing five of the show’s twenty five songs, so he must be a strong tenor (or high range baritone). The Gospel events Theophilus reads of, comments on, are depicted operatically through contemporary-style songs.
PRODUCTION NOTES: The soundtrack makes hiring and rehearsing an orchestra unnecessary. The running time for the show is two and a half hours, including a fifteen minute intermission. The optional overture can also be used as prelude music while the audience seats themselves. There is also an optional closing sung by the entire, now-out-of-character cast as their “witness in song” after the curtain call (with the house lights up for interacting with their audience). The audio technician’s song files, the vocalists’ sheet music, the book, scene outline and director’s production notes are available via MET’s website (www.metmusical.com). Minimalist sets and costumes are required to accommodate very quick scene changes. The book’s time and place context is the New Testament era, but a contemporary vs. traditional approach to biblical sets and costumes might better suit the show’s contemporary-style songs and their production.
To hear samples of the music, visit the MET website, http://metmusical.com/