Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead

Use these Immersive Bible Study resources to explore the story of  Lazarus from the perspective of directors, actors, musicians, photographers and a whole host of volunteers. People who have taken part in Passion Plays around the UK leave a rich legacy of fascinating insights into the Gospel story after bringing it to life on the streets and city centres every Easter. What can we learn from them in this Immersive Bible Study? Find out more about Immersive Bible Studies here. 

Readings

  • John 11:1-45
Jesus in a blue robe bends over a young boy on a stretcher during the scene showing the healing of a dead boy. A crowd in modern dress stand around watching.

Get to know the text

Audio Theatre: Listen to a recording of Lazarus’ story here. 

  • What more do you learn about the main characters when listening to a dramatic audio account rather than reading it yourself?
  • Which character would you choose to be if you were part of a performance or Passion Play?
  • How would you want the other characters to look or sound?

Getting to know your character

  • Does your character have a back story? What has been happening in their lives before this point in time? Write a diary entry for them at two key points in this passage.
  • Invent gestures for your character and experiment with mime.
  • With two or three others, create a tableau or ‘living statue’ of one moment from this passage. Invite another person to tap each of you on the shoulder if they want one of the statues to come to life and describe their internal thoughts and feelings at that point in time.
  • Watch the video opposite for ideas and inspiration.

Director’s Notes

If you were to direct this scene, what would you do? Would you want traditional costume or contemporary? Would you want elaborate set and props, or minimal? With music or no music?

  • Create entries for a ‘director’s journal’ describing what would be happening on stage at key moments in this passage.
  • How would you direct the actor playing Jesus in this scene?
  • What advice would you give to members of the crowd who are observing different moments in this passage?

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HOW CAN I TAKE PART IN A PASSION PLAY?

WHERE CAN I SEE A PASSION PLAY AT EASTER?

HOW CAN I START A NEW PASSION PLAY?