April 3, 2018
Two professional and invitation-only developmental readings took place in Manhattan on March 16 and 17 for a new play about clergy whoo are struggling with their loss of faith, Caught in the Pulpit. Underwritten by the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, playwright Marin Gazzaniga‘s script is adapted from conversations and interviews with current and former members of the clergy who no longer believe what they preached.
These conversations came from a groundbreaking study on non-believing clergy that was undertaken by Linda LaScola and Daniel Dennett through Tufts University, and published in 2010, and later expanded upon in the 2013 book Caught in the Pulpit: Leaving Belief Behind. This sparked the beginnings of the Clergy Project, an organization that supports current and former clergy wrestling with their doubts.
The play readings were directed by Steve Cosson, artistic director of The Civilians, a theatre company dedicated to investigative theatre that explores vital social, cultural, and political questions.
LaScola and Dennett themselves attended the readings, as well as CFI’s president and CEO, Robyn Blumner. Professional actors were enlisted to play the eight characters plus the reader of the stage directions. Megan Kingery of POE Global was the show’s executive producer.