Open Access

Dramaturgical and Theological Issues Involved in Producing and Staging a Play in Jerusalem about the Disputation of Barcelona

   | Aug 10, 2020
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Issue 4 (Aug 2020): From Paris to Tortosa, via Barcelona (1240-1413), Characters, Issues and Problems in Medieval Jewish-Christian Disputations. Editor: Francesco Bianchi


In the context of the launch of a new theater company whose mission is to bring entertaining theological content to audiences in and around Jerusalem, Roy Doliner’s Divine Right was chosen as the company’s first production. This play about the Disputation of Barcelona balances historical accuracy and creative dramatic content in a satisfying and intellectually honest portrayal of the events of the Disputation for educated lay audiences. Many theological and dramaturgical issues arise, especially in producing a play with a high level of Christian content and theology for mainly Orthodox or at least traditionally educated Jewish audiences. English speaking audience members in Jerusalem tend to be well-informed, both on the historical level and on the level of Jewish law and mores. This makes them exacting viewers, critical of inaccuracies of history or interpretation, wary of challenging positions but mostly willing to learn, and delighted by thorough research and characterization. This paper examines the technical, dramaturgical, and theological issues that arose during this production for the playwright, director, actors, and audiences.

Publication timeframe:
3 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Theology and Religion, General Topics and Biblical Reception