On September 22, the world premiere of James Reston, Jr.’s new play, “Luther’s Trumpet” will be presented at the Stone Hill amphitheater on Crest Hill Road east of Flint Hill. The historical drama is made possible with a generous grant from RAAC’s Claudia Mitchell Arts Fund.
“Luther’s Trumpet” is adaptation of Reston’s 2016 book, Luther’s Fortress. The play features a strong cast of community actors and is directed by Rick Davis, the dean of the performing arts at George Mason University.
“Luther’s Trumpet”: Saturday, Sept. 22, 4:30 p.m., 40 Springwish Lane, Flint Hill. Suggested donation: $20 per person
This is Reston’s third play to be performed at the Stone Hill amphitheater. “Galileo’s Torch” inaugurated the Stone Hill amphitheater in 2014 and was attended by an audience of 500. A year later in June 2015, the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, “Sherman the Peacemaker” was presented. “Galileo’s Torch” has gone on to seven subsequent production including the University of Oklahoma, the Folger Shakespeare Theater in Washington, and the Castleton Festival.
Last year was the 500th anniversary of the famous 95 Theses of Martin Luther and was celebrated world-wide. The real drama, according to the playwright, comes in the few years after 1517 when the Vatican excommunicated the monk and the Holy Roman Empire sought to silence him with a secular ban. Between the ban and the excommunication, Luther was subject to being burned at the stake. This epic conflict is the essence of “Luther’s Trumpet,” leading to the birth of Protestantism. With formidable foes like the pope, Leo X, and the Holy Roman Emperor, King Charles V of Spain, Luther’s Reformation hung in the balance. The outcome changed the world of Christian religion forever.
“Galileo changed the history of science forever, and Luther changed the history of religion forever,” Reston said. “As theatrical characters they are both dynamic, bombastic, flawed, and irresistible. The audience will leave the play, I hope, with important questions to ponder.”
Starring in the production is a strong cast of community actors. Hugh Hill is Martin Luther; Howard Coon is Pope Leo X, John Lesinski is the captain of the Warburg Castle, Spencer Knoll is King Charles V, Karen Hochstetter is Argula von Stauf, and Judge David Tatel (U.S. Court of Appeals) plays the Devil. Both Hill and Tatel performed in previous Reston plays.