If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

October Interviews
10/2 Debra H. Goldstein, Two Bites To Many
10/10 Connie Berry, A Legacy of Murder
10/17 Lida Sideris, Double Murder or Nothing
10/23 Toni L. P. Kelner writing as Leigh Perry, The Skeleton Stuffs A Stocking
10/30 Jennifer David Hesse, Autumn Alibi

Saturday Guest Bloggers:
10/5 Ang Pompano
10/12 Eyes of Texas Anthology Writers
10/19 Neil Plakcy

WWK Bloggers: 10/26 Kait Carson


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Lyrical Press will publish Kaye George's Vintage Sweets mystery series. The first book, Revenge Is Sweet, will be released in March. Look for the interview here on 3/11.

Shari Randall will be writing again for St. Martin's, perhaps under a pseudonym. We look forward to reading Shari's Ice Cream Shop Mystery series debuting next year. Congratulations, Shari!

Susan Van Kirk's A Death At Tippett Pond was released on June 15th. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Susan.

KM Rockwood's "Frozen Daiquiris" appears in The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense, edited by Judy Penz Sheluk. The anthology was released on June 18th.

Fishy Business anthology authors include KM Rockwood, Debra Goldstein, and James M. Jackson. This volume was edited by Linda Rodriguez.

Please read Margaret S. Hamilton and Debra Goldstein's short stories (don't ask about their modus operandi) in a new anthology, Cooked To Death Vol. IV: Cold Cut Files.

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p

Grace Topping's mystery, Staging is Murder was released April 30.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Special Tradition

Photo by Carrie Nicholson

Every other year, during the Holy Week that leads up to Easter, our congregation has made a tradition of presenting a drama called The Living Last Supper. We began in 2008 after the Rev. Dr. Tony Metze came to be our pastor at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Columbia, S.C. During our last production in 2012, he celebrated his twentieth anniversary of participating in the drama with his previous and current congregations.

Photo by Colleen Arnold
In The Living Last Supper, Leonardo DaVinci’s famous fresco, “The Last Supper,” from the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy is recreated on the stage and brought to life. The disciples gather in the Upper Room and with Jesus. After inviting them to join him at the table, Jesus tells his disciples, “One of you will betray me.” All the performers freeze in the positions depicted in the painting. Then, each disciple is spotlighted individually to speak about his life and experience with Jesus. At the end of each monologue, the disciple asks the question, “Is it I?”
Photo by Colleen Arnold

Pastor Tony plays Jesus. We have assembled twelve men from our congregation and  community to play the disciples. They are: John Arnold (Philip), Jim Coward (Simon), Reggie Hall (Thaddeus), Jim Jarvis (James the Lesser), Olin Jenkins (Peter), Neil Lown (John), Jim Nantz (Thomas), Randy Nolff (Nathaniel), Arthur Suggs (Andrew), Scott Stepp (Judas), Danny Varn (James the Elder), Mark Wade (Matthew). Eight of the participants have performed the same role in our four presentations. All have studied their characters’ lives to give greater depth to their portrayals. 
Photo by Carrie Nicholson

Our costumer, Edith Varn, has worked tirelessly to create outfits that match the artist’s rendition. In addition, she has provided costuming for our narrators, who have changed from one presentation to the next. In the 2010 production, we had a person portraying Leonardo Da Vinci explain his painting to his young apprentice and his apprentice’s mother. This year, we have three ladies begin the drama by playing Joanna (Brenda Byrd), Susanna (Valerie Ward), and Mary Magdalene (Nancy Jane Stock), also Jesus’ followers, and explaining the events of the week that preceded the meal in the Upper Room. In our presentations in 2008 and 2010, we had a single female performer sing a solo from Jesus Christ Superstar. After we were charged royalties for the second production’s use of the solo, we wrote our own song, “World Without End.”
Photo by Carrie Nicholson

Counting all who have performed in or contributed efforts to the production, about thirty people are involved, including: set builders and painters (Barry Norcutt and Sue Husman); poster and program developers and assemblers (Susan Craft, Alice Richardson, and Libby Adams); lighting and sound technicians (Dean Long and Billy Itter); a make-up assistant (Peggyjo Coward); a musician who plays both guitar and cello (Rachel Watson); a producer (John W. Henry); and a director, myself. Plus lovely people like Jane Long, Peggyjo Coward, and Marty Nantz who feed us, and Colleen Arnold, Heather Coates, and Carrie Nicholson who take photos of our production.
Photo by Carrie Nicholson
I’m so grateful for the diligent work of the Living Last Supper’s cast, crew, and supporters. We began rehearsals at the end January and have continued each Sunday and Monday until the performances that took place on Tuesday, April 15, Wednesday, April 16, and Thursday, April 17, 2014. Each night, almost two hundred people attended. The performances were free and included an opportunity to receive communion from “Jesus and the disciples” who left the stage and brought the bread and wine to the audience.
Photo by Colleen Arnold

For each production, we select a cast project. This year, we collected over $1,000 for a local program called Transitions, which helps the homeless obtain education, job skills, medical attention, and permanent housing.
Photo by Colleen Arnold

Thank you to all who have participated in and who have come to see our production.

Photo by Carrie Nicholson


James Montgomery Jackson said...

What a fun way to bring people together.

~ Jim

Gloria Alden said...

What a beautiful tradition, Paula. I only wish I lived closer so I could attend. The pictures are touching, too.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Holidays are a wonderful time for family and friends to come together in many ways. I blogged yesterday on a similar topic. I think we're on the same wave length!

Warren Bull said...

What a great idea.

Kara Cerise said...

What a wonderful tradition, Paula. The photos are beautiful.

Carla Damron said...

Sorry I didn't make it--looks amazing.

KM Rockwood said...

I used to work with a guy who let his hair & beard grow from Thanksgiving every year so he could play Jesus in his church's Christmas pageant.

Those pictures are wonderful. Holiday traditions are important

Linda Rodriguez said...

What a great tradition!

Paula Gail Benson said...

Thank you so much for your kind comments. We have been so grateful to spend the time together and be able to present this production. It's truly a wonderful way to commemorate and celebrate this season. Best wishes to you all.

Anonymous said...

Paula, your dedication and talents make the production a joy for all involved.

E. B. Davis said...

Weekend events kept me from the blog. You've written about past performances, and I'm glad that you were able to have the play performed this year. It seems to me that the Easter play and your busy time at work occur at the same time, or am I confused? How do you do it all?