Wayne County residents can see a re-enactment of the Last Supper March 29 at 8 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church.
"The Living Last Supper" has been performed since the 1990s when the Rev. Bill Hufham brought it from his previous pastorate, said director Rosalyn Lomax. Lomax has been directing it since 2004. Bobbie Anderson directed it before that.
"The Living Last Supper" is a dramatic re-enactment of the moment portrayed in Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting," Lomax said. "That moment follows Christ's announcement recorded in the 14th chapter of Mark that one of the men at the table will betray him."
She said the name of the playwright has been lost, but the drama has existed for several decades.
It's part of First Presbyterian's Maundy Thursday Communion service.
"The drama opens on 'the painting' as 13 men are frozen in the poses from da Vinci's work," Lomax said. "One at a time, the apostles come to life and speak their heart as they ponder the identify of the betrayer. Each one must face the chilling possibility that he himself could be the guilty one."
When each has spoken, Jesus serves them bread and wine.
This year's cast includes the Rev. Bob Bardin, Scott Boros, Lee Futrelle, Scott Gibson, Brad Graham, George Joseph, Tim Judd, Wiley Leonard, Banks Peacock, Thomas Suddarth, James Taneti, Vismai Taneti and Michael Wilson.
Director of music ministry Jayson Keeton is the organist for the service. Vismitha Taneti is the Scripture reader.
Gibson has portrayed Judas Iscariot several times in the production.
"'The Living Last Supper' is an opportunity for the audience to experience the joy of breaking bread with Christ while also feeling the emotions and hearing the thoughts of the disciples before his betrayal," he said.
"Hearing those apostles say those words is powerful and personal," said Kathryn Spicer, assistant director. "Any of us could wonder if the betrayer is indeed 'I.' The words add another dimension to the painting, a texture to our lives."
The production has changed over the years, Lomax said.
"In 2016, we had more volunteers than parts, so I created a monologue for Matthias, the follower chosen to replace Judas after his betrayal, according to the book of Acts," she said. "For several years, a black curtain served as the backdrop for the drama and the Chancel Choir sang unseen by the congregation. In recent year, only organ music has been used and the chancel of the sanctuary has become part of the scene."
After Jesus serves the apostles bread and wine, those attending are invited to receive communion and will then depart in silence.
"Directing this drama has always been a joy," Lomax said. "I never tire of the monologues in rehearsals and enjoy watching and hearing the men grow into their roles. The spiritual rewards and the bond created among the participants are lasting gifts for the cast and for me as well."
"The Living Last Supper" is open to the public.