Mary D. Fisher Theatre
Joan D Chittister Lecture/Event Series
SPECIAL EVENT with Sister Joan
Mercyhurst University, Erie, PA
Following play, Sr. Joan will speak followed by a Q & A
When Teri is on the right side of the stage she is playing Joan, on the left, herself. And Teri plays multiple characters -- their mothers, grandmothers, fathers, friends--who help tell the stories of Joan and Teri's lives.
The story of their intersecting lives, the parallels and connections help the audience see how they are also connected to these universal stories of adversity and abuse.
Yes, this book title could be the story of Joan's life, but it is the title of one of her favorite childhood books and it serves as a touchstone throughout the play, reminding us of the gifts and challenges that we share with others.
There are funny, heartbreaking, wise defining moments, ironic similarities and unexpected outcomes.
Besides the scenes any audience would expect, portions of Joan's letters, books and speeches are used to further the story of her life. Small portions of wisdom are delivered from the podium on stage until finally we hear the genius of Joan's keynote address--it's humor and inspiring call to action.
Issues of identity, abuse, life, war, spirituality, justice issues, women and interfaith--are all woven throughout the play.
A Benedictine Sister of Erie, Joan is a leader in peace and social justice issues, most especially for women. Sister Joan has written over sixty books, most recently Radical Spirit. Joan is the co-founder of the Women's Global Peace Initiative and is an international speaker.
A special event
with Joan Chittister
Teri Bays will be performing
Her story, my story, our story
Friday, May 3, 2019
a Presentation and Q & A
with Sister Joan
A singer, writer and actress, Teri performed at The Duplex in NYC and has starred in numerous theatrical productions. A pastoral musician for nearly 40 years, she has recorded two CDs, and wrote Through Stained Glass: the priests of my life. She lives in beautiful Sedona, AZ.
"Joan Chittister is that rare combination of a gifted spiritual writer and a great prophetic voice in our church, speaking out for women, for minorities and for all marginalized people. When I think of someone who speaks truth to power, I think of Joan."
"Teri Bays' performance is deeply moving. It evokes many emotions about the struggle to understand the important role of women...Learn of the courageous examples of leadership Joan and Teri set for all of us!"
Currently there are organizations and churches interested in performances in these areas. Contact us to coordinate travel plans and a performances in a nearby area.
Si Birch Auditorium, Sedona, July 2017
Flagstaff Federated Community Church, August, 2017
Methodist Church, Prescott, Nov, 2017
St. Andrew's, Sedona, Feb 2018
Mary D. Fisher Theatre, June, 2018
St. Theresa's, Phoenix, Nov 2018
Morristown Methodist Church, September 2017
Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Westfield, September, 2017
Gracier Auditorium, Santa Rosa, January 2018
CTA and One Spirit, One Call- Oregon, January 2018
St. Michael’s College, Burlington
Trinity Episcopal Church, Shelburne
Church of the Assumption, Fairport
Holy Wisdom Monastery, May, 2018
Sinsinawa Mound, May, 2018
Mount Mary University, October, 2018
Sisters of St. Francis
Our Lady of Victory Knolls
Si Birch Auditorium, August 4, 2017
Flagstaff Federated Community Church, August 25, 2017
Sophia Inclusive Community at
St. Mark's Lutheran Church
September 15, 2017
Holy Trinity Catholic Church
September 18, 2017
January 13, 2018
St. Michael’s College
Trinity Episcopal Church, April 2018
Church of the Assumption Catholic Church, April 2018
Roberta W., Business Manager
Alicia M., Rabbi
Monica, W., Episcopal priest
Stephanie K., former news reporter
By Morristown Green Contributor - September 18, 2017
By Linda Stamato
Some 28 years ago, Teri Bays sent a letter to Benedictine nun Joan Chittister.
“I wish your words were on my lips,” wrote Bays.
They are now…..with stunning and, at times, shocking, effect. The large and appreciative audience gave Ms. Bays a standing, sustained ovation at the conclusion of her performance.
Joan Chittister is a woman for all seasons. With 60 books, 12 honorary degrees, leadership positions too numerous to count, and a global following, this revered author and speaker has had a lot to say about peace, justice, women’s issues and the role of religious life in the modern world.
She certainly has created a presence. And Teri Bays, her disciple, “becomes” her to demonstrate through Chittister’s words–and her own–the profound connection between them. She intensifies Chittister’s impact and makes it at once personal and universal. The performance is deeply affecting.
As Bays moves from left to right on the stage, we hear each woman in various times and places, and witness the strands of experience that connect them.
Bays’ mother was in elementary school with Chittister; both women, as girls, sought refuge from terror in their households that were fueled by their fathers’ alcoholism and abuse.
Seeking freedom from fear, they found solace in books, in their diaries and journals, and in companionship and support in the homes of friends, in Bays’ case, and in Chittister’s, in the Benedictine convent which she joined as a novice in 1952.
Their paths diverge and come together as certain themes emerge: Struggling for standing, engaging in protest, embracing non-denominational spirituality, seeking self-understanding in times of change, teaching to embrace social justice, and loving music.
They both experience and resist intolerance, racism and sexism in the church, and, confidently, distance themselves from it.
Seeking to advance morality over religiosity, they take stands for life–more than birth, living free from poverty and duress–they attack the “enemies of our time: Power and profit,” and they assert their equality, resist silencing, and answer the call to leadership, in different ways to be sure.
As Chittister says, “The church needs women for its salvation,” I heard a strong echo from her disciple and supportive murmurs from the audience.
Bays’ performance is delivered with a heavy hand–Chittister’s compelling words–but also with a light touch–expressing the great good humor of both of these talented, courageous and resilient women.
The Rev. Dennis Crowley of Assumption Church and Bernice Anglin await start of 'Joan Chittister: her Story,' Sept. 15, 2017. Photo by Linda Stamto
Prophets and poets both, they are leading the new way, using public settings, churches, lecture halls and stages to have their voices heard, urging people, as Chittister says, “to live faithfully and to love radically, ” to be public thinkers so as to inspire openness to possibility, resisting retreat to past ways.
Billed as “a one woman play for all women,” Joan Chittister: Her Story, is so much more.
It is a play for men too, and especially for those who wear clerical collars; it is for all those who work for change in the church and more, for those who share faith in humanity, peace, spirituality and common purpose.
Bays’ appearance was supported in part by the Sophia Inclusive Catholic Community, whose roots are solidly in the tradition of Vatican II. Its mission was given a burst of energy and spirit tonight and Sister Joan Chittister and Teri Bays found themselves in good company.
....runs about one hour with no intermission and tells the story of Joan Chittister, her life and work through scenes, dialogues, actual letters, as well as portions of her books and speeches. The one-woman play portrays two women to tell the story of all women overcoming adversity and abuse. As the play progresses Joan addresses justice themes about life, women, interfaith, and spirituality. A small table, podium, 2 chairs and wireless microphone are needed.
Scroll back to the top of this website and click on the upper right corner: Booking Information.
Interested in a performance near you? There may be another organization or church in your area also interested. Please call or email to see if resources can be shared so a performance can be booked in your area.
The usual stipend is $1500. for an anticipated audience up to 300 people, slightly more for larger audiences. In addition, travel and housing expenses are expected.
There is more flexibility if there is more than one performance in an area.
Thank you for inquiring.
A $500. stipend hold the date and is used for initial travel expenses. A letter of agreement outlines some specifics and groups can use this to determine if a performance is feasible.
The balance of $1000. is due after the performance along with reimbursed travel expenses.
See Booking Information in the upper right corner at the top of this website for more details.
Bookings are listed here At www.JoanChittisterThePlay.com
Flyer templates and the program are here under BOOKING INFORMATION (top --upper right corner)
Email or call if you have any questions.
“All, but death, can be adjusted.”
April 13, Saturday , 2019
June 7, Thursday, 2018
Mary D. Fisher Theatre
Home of the Sedona International Film Festival
St. Theresa's Parish
5045 East Thomas Road
NOVEMBER 10, Saturday, 2018
Si Birch Auditorium, Sedona
Methodist Church, Prescott
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Sedona
and thanks to Rabbi Alicia Magal for a
Dress Rehearsal at Jewish Community of Sedona and the Verde Valley
If you would love to bring the play to your area, contact Teri. It is very possible that there are others in your area also interested and travel expenses can be shared. See below for some upcoming performances. This list is not complete.
Copyright © 2018 Joan Chittister the Play.