Bill Murray recently played Job in a virtual performance for a good cause
The production was put on for the people of Knox County, Ohio, and included a cast of famous actors performing with members of the community.
On Sunday, the famous actor performed as the trial-riddled Old Testament figure in a stage reading that took place over Zoom.
The production was put on for the people of Knox County, Ohio, and included a cast of famous actors performing (virtually) alongside members of the Knox County community, The Associated Press reports.
After the conclusion of the performance, several people from the area were invited to share their thoughts on the biblical story and participate in a virtual discussion.
The dramatic reading followed by an open-ended dialogue is a structure that’s specific to Theater of War Productions, the company that put on the event.
According to InsideHook, the performance was specially designed to sparking meaningful, unifying conversations and address the growing spiritual and political divides that are plaguing the Knox County community.
While the show was headlined by Murray, it featured performances from actors Frankie Faison and David Strathairn as well as Matthew Starr, the mayor of Mount Vernon, a town in Knox County.
Starr read for the part of Job’s accuser, and after the show he shared his thoughts on the story’s meaning. He said (via The Associated Press):
God does not say that bad things aren’t going to happen, but He does tell us, when they do, we’re not alone.
The show’s artistic director, Bryan Doerries, is an alumnus Knox County’s Kenyon College and he chose to bring the performance to that area to bridge the rifts in the community. According to Doerries, the chasm has been magnified by the recent election and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Doerries suggested that the Job story serve as “vocabulary for a conversation” in the community. He said told The Associated Press:
The hope is that we can actually engender connection (and) healing...People can hear each other’s truths even if they don’t agree with them.
The Associated Press reports that Knox County is largely a rural community made up of approximately 62,000 citizens. The county contains a medium-sized Amish population and is situated about an hour east of the state’s capitol.
According to the site, most Knox County residents work blue-collar jobs at local factories and, politically, the county is a conservative stronghold that voted for Trump by nearly a 3-1 margin in November.
Kenyon College, a small liberal arts school located just a few miles outside Mount Vernon, is an exception to the above description. Voters in the Knox County precinct that encompassed the college voted for President-elect Joe Biden by an 8-1 margin.
Before the reading took place on Sunday, Doerries described the outcome he hoped the performance would yield. He said (via The Associated Press):
Our hope is not that there’s going to be a group hug at the end of the thing, or that we’re going to resolve all our political differences, but that we can remind people of our basic humanity … what it requires to live up to basic values such as treating our neighbor as ourselves.