New Play Based on Non-Believing Clergy Interviews Gets a Professional Staged Reading in Manhattan

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.

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The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the Council for Secular Humanism. The Center for Inquiry strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Visit CFI on the web at