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Playwright Nick Stokes has written a short play in response to the Book of Nehemiah wherein the prophet leads the people of Israel to rebuild Jerusalem after returning from a long exile in Egypt.



Nick Stokes


Curated by: 

Emily Clare Zempel


One Act Play

Image by Giorgio Trovato

Primary Scripture

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Community can be understood as a political concept. The book of Nehemiah struck me immediately as political, at a political time of the year (2012 elections), when politics dominated our public discourse.

A community comes together to build a wall. In the midst of the communal building, usury and capitalizing on one’s brothers is thrown out of town. The wall is built: triumph, celebration, community. But the seed of the wall’s downfall is laid in its very nature of exclusion and fear. The wall excludes the audience. No foreigners are allowed to corrupt the segregated “utopia”. In completing the wall, the community reaches its ascendancy, and then begins to stagnate in corruption, a perception of lack, self-serving greed, apathy, and paranoia. Without the unifying purpose of building the wall to unite the people, the community disintegrates and the cycle of the rise and fall of civilization continues.

REBUILD is an energetic ensemble performance piece based in movement and rhythm. It places the audience in an adversarial, outsider, and at times deific relationship with the ensemble. It overlays ancient Judah with contemporary society. It builds walls and tears them down. Or perhaps the opposite.

Spark Notes

The Artist's Reflection

Nick Stokes is a playwright and author living outside Seattle who sometimes packs mules in the wilderness of Montana.

Nick Stokes

About the Artist


Nick Stokes

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