Passion Play or Gwar Show? You Decide.


From the exotic land of Tennessee comes word that local church Passion plays have become gory affairs.

A few quotes for the flavor:

"At Halloween, we sell blood by the ounce. At Easter, we sell blood by the gallon," says Gary Broadrick, owner of Performance Studios.

The churches that do Passion plays depicting Christ's Crucifixion and Resurrection come in search of biblical attire and stage makeup, including plenty of stage blood. The blood, church officials say, is necessary to truly bring home the message of Jesus' sacrifice.

"To see that blood makes it very real," said Sheri Simpson, drama ministry coordinator at Two Rivers Baptist Church, known for its large-scale Easter production. "It wasn't just a small slap on the hand. He was really tortured." …

"It's almost like drug use," said Paul Prill, a professor of communications at Lipscomb University. "After a while, it doesn't affect us as much anymore." …

"I knew it had to be real," said Bob Shupe, church choir director and the person who authored the long-running play 16 years ago. "So much is false today. People are suspect of everything—in particular, the church."

Why, yes. The whole Resurrection thing is so much more convincing with more fake blood.