Joan D. Chittister Lecture/Event Series performance on May 3, 2019 with Sr. Joan!

Joan Chittister
The Play



Promotional Trailer for Performance of Joan Chittister The Play at Mary D. Fisher Theatre, Sedona AZ

Her story, my story, our story

Joan Chittister


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.

Joan D. Chittister Lecture And Event Series


   A special event 

with Joan Chittister

Teri Bays will be performing 

Joan Chittister:

Her story, my story, our story


Mercyhurst University


  Friday, May 3, 2019

followed by 

a Presentation and Q & A 

with Sister Joan


Ticket Information

Teri Bays


A singer, writer and actress, Teri performed at The Duplex in NYC and has starred in numerous theatrical productions, including starring roles as Maria in The Sound of Music, Anita in West Side Story, and Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof.  A pastoral musician for nearly 40 years, she has recorded two CDs, authored Through Stained Glass: the priests of my life.  She lives in beautiful Sedona, AZ.

Upcoming Performances


Saturday, April 13th at 7pm in Sedona, Arizona!

Mary D. Fisher Theatre



Friday, May 3 at 7pm in Erie, PA

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

About the play

A one-woman play about two women


When Teri is on the right side of the stage she is playing Joan, on the left, herself.  Playing multiple characters -- their mothers, grandmothers, fathers, friends--Bays tells the stories of Joan and Teri's lives.

Intersecting 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. 

Little People Who Became Great


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 that we share with others. 



There are funny, heartbreaking, wise defining moments, ironic similarities and unexpected outcomes.  

Letters, Speeches, Books


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.   

What they say about Joan...

Fr. James Martin, SJ priest and author

"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."   


What they say about the play

Dr. Christine Pharr, President of Mount Mary University

"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!"


Unbelievable! That was a truly magnificent performance--an inspired and important work!

Roberta W., Business Manager

Brilliant, moving, inspiring and the way you combined the memories and characters was so effective!

 Alicia M., Rabbi

Wonderful play and performance!

Monica, W., Episcopal priest

Thoroughly enjoyed the show! Amazing writing and performance!

 Marie B. 

Really incredible! I keep thinking about the play. I am excited to learn more about Sister Joan.

Stephanie K., former news reporter

Interest in these areas....


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.

Don't see your state? Call and see how we can schedule a performance

Past Performances


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

April 2018


Sharon Springs

Church of the Assumption, Fairport

April 2018


Holy Wisdom Monastery, May, 2018

Sinsinawa Mound, May, 2018

Mount Mary University, October, 2018


The Canticle

Sisters of St. Francis

     May, 2018


Our Lady of Victory Knolls

Huntington, IN

July, 2018

Past Performance Spaces

Sedona, AZ


Si Birch Auditorium, August 4, 2017

Flagstaff, AZ


Flagstaff Federated Community Church, August 25, 2017

Morristown, NJ


Sophia Inclusive Community at
St. Mark's Lutheran Church

September 15, 2017

Westfield, NJ


Holy Trinity Catholic Church

September 18, 2017

Santa Rosa, CA


Glaser Auditorium

January 13, 2018

Burlington, VT


St. Michael’s College

Shelburne, VT


Trinity Episcopal Church, April 2018

Fairport, NY


Church of the Assumption Catholic Church, April 2018



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.


Some Details about the Play


The Joan Chittister Play...

....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.

To get started

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

Flyer templates and the program are here under BOOKING INFORMATION (top --upper right corner)

Other Questions?

Email or call if you have any questions.


“All, but death, can be adjusted.”

        Emily Dickinson

Arizona Performances



April 13, Saturday , 2019

June 7, Thursday, 2018

Mary D. Fisher Theatre

    Home of the Sedona International Film Festival


Phoenix Area

St. Theresa's Parish 

5045 East Thomas Road

NOVEMBER 10, Saturday, 2018


Previous AZ Performances

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

Your church, school, state...

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.

Thanks for sharing your email

More information?


Book a Performance or Ask a question

21 San Jose Circle, Sedona, AZ 86336, US

(928) 274-0674