Reading of Play ‘On Earth As it is in Heaven’ Debuts in Los Angeles
Titled ‘On Earth as it is in Heaven,’ former journalist and playwright Bob Jimenez has drafted God’s interview with the Los Angeles Times. His vision connects a 21st century Los Angeles to something more or less surreal. But how does one dream to approach God for an interview? Even more how do you write a story about it?
The play’s first reading took place in a rather intimate setting at the Family Theater but highly anticipated by its few guests. The audience’s eyes and sprits glued to its plot. It revealed a contrast between disbelief and hope, well portrayed by its characters of earth or the hidden angels among them.
A long table filled with actors, set in a press conference style, as each read from their script. God was in the middle. It mirrored an edgy but humble version of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper. To God’s left, seated a journalist who has lost hope after losing his young daughter to cancer and soon after his wife. To God’s right, an eager editor with an assignment in hand insisting the reporter reach out for an interview to a man, that was said to be under some kind of influence and claimed numerous times, to be God himself. At the very end of the table Satan itself or its mirage, made his grand entrance just in time before the curtain drops.
“The play takes on the fourth estate of journalism and how it has lost its real purpose. There are also strong statements on secularism and a world that prizes only material wealth. It’s a statement on faith and how it can be rediscovered. But mostly it’s an interpretation of a God of possibilities,” said Jimenez.
Five years ago Jimenez began writing the play, moved and inspired by the many misconceptions surrounding the belief in God today. His ultimate goal is to produce and publish it in Los Angeles. “In its many reincarnations, it turns out explaining why bad things happen to good people and why God doesn’t do anything about it,” said Jimenez.
The reading, past a breath-taking performance, was an open microphone challenge for the author as much as it was for the audience. Like a thoughtful journalist, at the reading’s finale Jimenez allowed his source – the audience, including the actors – to reflect the story’s values, desires, misconceptions and faith. It set the tone for a what can become one of the most anticipated live theater productions nowhere else, but in our city of angels.