Hastings- Hastings Community Theatre (HCT) is utilizing a different performance space to present a brilliantly funny yet compassionate play that explores the boundaries of religious doctrine. "Mass Appeal", by Bill C. Davis, explores the conflict between an established older priest and the impassioned young seminarian who challenges the validity of his elder's well-routined regimen.
Directed by Patrick Crawford and Donna Hastings, "Mass Appeal" features the talents of Crawford as Father Tim Farley and Brendan Nierman as Mark Dolson. "Mass Appeal" will be performed at St. Mark's Episcopal Pro-Cathedral, at 422 N. Burlington Ave. in Hastings, Friday through Sunday, October 12-21.
Friday and Saturday performances are at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees begin at 2:30 p.m. Adult tickets are $15 and $13 for students and seniors. HCT offers half-price "Student Rush" tickets for Friday performances, sold only at the box office one hour prior to performance and subject to availability.
To qualify for the special pricing, patrons must be age 18 or under or present a valid current student ID from any college.
The play follows Father Tim Farley, a highly popular priest with his parishioners due to his charm, wit, easy-going manner, and entertaining but unchallenging sermons. One Sunday, seminarian Mark Dolson interrupts Farley's sermon to challenge his stance on the ordination of women. The pastor is outraged and intrigued by the young man, and asks to have him assigned to work with him.
Dolson is a firebrand, eager to change the Church. He enjoys attacking Farley's "song and dance theology" and questioning why he drinks so much. Dolson feels it's his job to shake parishioners out of their complacency. Farley likes Dolson, but sees that he'll never succeed as a priest if all he does is irritate people and make enemies. Each man has something to teach the other about how to perform his priestly duties.
"Mass Appeal" is sponsored by Doug & Lorri Oakeson and Tom & Donna Hastings. All Hastings Community Theatre productions are funded with the support of the Nebraska Arts Council and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.