Heads Up set to stage ‘Corpus Christi’ (WITH VIDEOS)

At this time of year, area Christian churches are gearing up for Easter worship and celebrations.

Heads Up Productions, an independent theater company, is seen as a part of the Easter observance at First Grace United Church of Christ in Akron, with its production of “Corpus Christi,” by Terrence McNally. The shows are April 21 through 23, at 7 p.m.

Video taken at a recent rehearsal

“Corpus Christi” relates many several stories from the Bible, including the story of Lazarus and the meetings with the Apostles. But there are a few twists: One, is the story is set in contemporary times. Joshua, the Jesus-like figure and leader of the group, and his disciples go to a dance club at one point. Also, Joshua and his Apostles are gay men, living in modern-day Texas. All of the characters are men, but several of the ensemble members — including Amy Spencer, who grew up in Cuyahoga Falls, who plays Joshua, and Kim Woodworth of Aurora who plays Judas — are women.

“There are people of all different sizes, shapes, ages, backgrounds, gender, ethnicity, gay, straight,” said Benjamin Rexroad, director. “This was an important component when we were casting the show, to have a diverse group of people.”

Other members of the ensemble include Erika Kinney from Cleveland; Brian Jackson; Chris Laney from Massillion; Nici Romo from Stow; John Burton from Akron; Margaret Lute; Tyler Hodges from Ashland; Rob Branch from Elyria; Robyn Cooper from Cuyahoga Falls; TJ Jozsa from Stow; and Joel Kirk from San Fransisco, Ohio.

Video interviews with the director and some of the cast

Rexroad said that as well as the play, Heads Up has been spearheading story circles and talks to reach out to the community. Story Circles will be at First Grace United Church of Christ, Cascade Community Church, and Community Aids Network, The University of Akron’s LGBTU and Akron Pride Initiative. Thoughts on the play from the cast and staff of Heads Up, as well as other information, can be found at www.headsupproductions.net.

“We’re really trying to get out to the public and make this as easily accessible as possible,” Rexroad said. “We’re not afraid to stand behind what we believe in. We’re not trying to hide who we are.”

J.T. Buck, the arts director with First Grace United Church, said he saw “Corpus Christi” as “a spiritual and religious play” and as “our way of practicing what we preach.”

“This play has renewed resonance” in regards to the bullying issue today, Buck said. “This church does as much as it can to be open and accepting. We would like to see gay, lesbian, transgender, those questioning and their family and friends to see this as a chance for healing.”

Video interview with J.T. Buck, art director at First Grace

Performances will be at the First Grace United Church of Christ, 350 South Portage Path in Akron. Tickets are $5. Reservations can be made by calling 330-990-5138 or by visiting the Corpus Christi page at www.headsupproductions.net/corpus-christi

Immediately following the performances of Corpus Christi, First Grace will have a post-show worship service to commemorate Holy Week. Patrons are invited but not required to attend services.

April Helms
Tallmadge Express


  1. Evidently, you guys skipped the part in the scriptures where G-d tells us that homosexuality is an ABOMINATION!!! His words, not mine! But I fervently agree with my Heavenly Father.

    Homosexuals will NOT enter the kingdom of Heaven. G-d clearly CLEARLY states that anyone who practices homosexuality will go to HELL.

    Read up on your scriptures before pretending to be “christians” and SHAMEFULLY making a mockery our of L-rd Jesus Christ!!!!

    Leviticus 8:22..22Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

    Leviticus 20:13 “‘If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

    Romans 1:27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

    1 Timothy 1:8But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; 9Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; 11According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

    1 Corinthians 6:9Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God………..13The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never!

  2. Jesus died on the cross for our sins. Please pray for all the people who work on this movie to realize that they have done a wrong thing. May God forgive them as they do not understand what they are doing.


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