top of page

Loading Video . . .

Theater artist and poet Edward Bauer explores a unique interaction of family and deity in response John 12:1-11 and the theme of “meals.”

John 12:1-11

Family Dinner


Edward Bauer


Artist Location: Brooklyn, New York

Curated by: 

Lauren Ferebee



Image by Giorgio Trovato

Primary Scripture

Loading primary passage...

Loading Passage Reference...

I’m not chiefly a writer. I’m a good liberal arts student with at least a passing acquaintance with the skill, and the work of my theater company does often involve writing scenes and monologues, but at the end of the day I am an actor. As such, when I was first approached with the opportunity to create a piece for Spark & Echo, I considered the dramatic possibilities. As it turned out, though, there was no theatrical concept that sparked my interest. At least, not overtly.

I grew up in a progressive protestant (United Church of Christ) household in Maine, and when I was in elementary school my mother began a seminary education. The timing was such that during the formative years in which I was interested enough to start paying actual attention to what was going on in our church services, I also had access to a parent who was making it her life’s work not only to study the Bible deeply, but to learn how to communicate its stories most truthfully and effectively as a minister. I’ll admit that I don’t attend church regularly these days — I dislike the word “agnostic,” but occasionally refer to myself as a “spiritual humanist” — but I’ve never lost my interest in the Bible as a fascinating story, or in the act of performing a ministry. As a result, the piece I’ve submitted to Spark & Echo is a kind of hodgepodge of poem, monologue, and homily, in a form not entirely unlike something my mother might have written over the years.

My interest in the Gospels is rooted in a decidedly “low Christology”, and the theme of “meals” felt like a natural venue for exploring that. Martha, Mary, and Lazarus have always fascinated me because of their simplicity and humanity, and because their stories tend to bring out shades of the same in Jesus. This is a family that dines, loves, learns, and bickers together, and that is in the fascinating position of seeing Christ as — well, among other things — a friend, in a way that few others do. And yet, especially in the case of Lazarus, this friendship brings them to the very brink of the unknowable vastness of God. How does an average person deal with that, and then sit down to Sunday dinner as if everything is normal?

I’m not sure. Here’s an idea, though.

Spark Notes

The Artist's Reflection

Edward Bauer is an actor and theater artist currently residing in Brooklyn, NY, where he is one of four Co-Artistic Directors of the Assembly Theater Company. The Assembly is dedicated to producing rigorously researched and socially relevant theater created by an ensemble. The company's work has been produced as part of the Ice Factory, Undergroundzero, and CUNY Prelude festivals, as well as having been performed at The Incubator, The Collapsable Hole, HERE Arts Center, the Wesleyan University Center for the Arts, and the historic Living Theater. Edward can next be seen as Pip in The Assembly's “That Poor Dream," a play inspired by Dickens' “Great Expectations," this October at the New Ohio Theater.

Edward Bauer

About the Artist

Edward Bauer

Other Works By