New Historical Fiction Radio News Broadcast, from First-Century Jerusalem for the First Easter, Turns Listeners into “Live Witnesses” of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

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In an effort to help listeners step back in time to first century Jerusalem during the week of the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth; Scripture on Stage of Livonia, Michigan (http://www.scriptureonstage.com) has just completed publication of a 3-hour, 36-minute historical fiction radio news broadcast for the morning of the very first Easter, “The Voice of Jerusalem,” with reporters covering each of the events from the purely historical point of view of those who were actually there to witness them.

"This is simply the best Lenten meditation I have ever heard!" -Pat Horgan, Livonia Catholic listener.

Wouldn't it be amazing to be able to step back in time to first-century Jerusalem and actually witness the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ? Well, maybe now that's possible ...sort of.

In an effort to help listeners step back in time to first century Jerusalem during the week of the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth; Scripture on Stage of Livonia, Michigan (http://www.scriptureonstage.com) has just completed publication of a 3-hour, 36-minute historical fiction radio news broadcast for the morning of the very first Easter, “The Voice of Jerusalem,” with reporters covering each of the events from the purely historical point of view of those who were actually there to witness them.

The newly-created sound recording, more than a year in the making, and developed with the foundation of thorough scholarship and research in the areas of biblical history, archeology, and theology, “The Voice of Jerusalem” allows listeners to become witnesses to the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as these events unfold through the eyes, ears, and unique first-century perspective of the reporters who covered them; as one more means for Christians of immersion, reflection, and meditation on these events, especially during what Christians refer to as “Holy Week,” the week of the passion and death of Jesus immediately preceding his resurrection on Easter Sunday morning. A sample sound clip can be listened to at http://www.scriptureonstage.com.

The historical fiction radio news broadcast was created using authentic sound effects, a significant variety of royalty-free music to support the emotion of each story, and various historical details intended to help educate a listener about the way in which these history-changing events of the Christian faith may have been perceived by those who were actual witnesses to them. Included are coverage of the Trial Before Pilate, the Way of the Cross, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, an Interview with Pontius Pilate, the recovery of the suicide note of Judas Iscariot, the unusual earthquake that struck the city in darkness that Friday afternoon, and even a final Eulogy to a “Man of Our God.”

A number of lighter elements have been included in the broadcast as well—light-hearted radio commercials, a weather report, Letters from Our Readers, and even a Sports Page—primarily in an attempt to appeal to younger listeners and those perhaps slightly reticent to immerse themselves more fully in a meditation or reflection on the more somber historical events of their faith. To be sure, the treatment is purely historical, and significant caution has been exercised so as not to offend any Christian denomination, but rather to adhere to what is generally known or believed to have been true. The purpose, as always with Scripture on Stage theatrical productions, is to educate, entertain, and inspire; and, as one recent test audience member put it, “This is simply the best Lenten meditation I have ever heard.”

Scripture on Stage has been offering a variety of theatrical performances, publications, and productions since 1992, in its ongoing attempts to “bring alive the historical Jesus through the magic of theater and the quill of fiction,” according to founder John Dzwonkowski, M.A., 61, a former seminarian with the Maryknoll Fathers of New York, through whom he obtained his Master’s Degree in Theology, and with whom he ministered to parishioners for 18 months in the 3rd world countries of Bolivia and El Salvador in Central America. He has been a Catholic religious educator in various parishes ever since.

Scripture on Stage is particularly well-known for its Lenten reflection performance of “An Evening with Simon Peter,” a 2-act, 1-actor full theatrical presentation in which the character of the Apostle Simon Peter tells the story of his life with Jesus of Galilee; and then relates the story of Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection events from his own close-up point of view. A live recording of this program is now available as a 2-CD or an MP3 download from http://www.scriptureonstage.com.

They also make available two historical fiction newspapers, “The Bethlehem Star”—for the first Christmas, and “The Jerusalem Star”—for the first Easter; as well as two fictional radio broadcasts of the same stories in audio form, with full sound effects and a great variety of music to accompany them, “The Voice of Bethlehem” and “The Voice of Jerusalem.” They are currently at work on a new theatrical performance for Christmastime, “An Evening with Mary and Joseph,” preparing to offer its inaugural performances for Christmastime 2012.

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John Dzwonkowski
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