About the project
Developed in collaboration with PopTech, The Book of Job was created to promote healing dialogue within the community of Joplin, which was devastated by a tornado in May 2011. The project has since been presented all over the country and the world, from New York City (Hurricane Sandy), to Pascagoula, MS (10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina), to Japan (Fukushima).
About the play
The Book of Job by Translated by Stephen Mitchell
The Book of Job is an ancient Hebrew poem that timelessly explores how humans behave when bad things happen to good people. At the beginning of the poem, Job, a righteous and prosperous man, is tested by God. In the span of one day, he loses everything—his children, his crops, his livestock, his house, and his health. Convinced of his own innocence, Job sits silently in the dirt behind what's left of his home and asks God for an explanation. But God doesn't answer. Job is visited by a group of friends who, at first, sympathize with his suffering, but when Job begins to question why he has been singled out and made to suffer, they condemn his behavior and accuse him of having done something to deserve his terrible fate. In spite of these accusations, Job clings to the belief that he has done nothing wrong and continues to shake his fists at the sky in righteous indignation. At the very end of the poem, God reveals himself to Job as a disembodied voice within a whirlwind and rebukes him for presuming to understand His will. Job covers his mouth and falls silent, and—in an enigmatic ending—God restores his health and prosperity, doubling his children, his livestock, and his crops.
Book of Job Highlights
A short documentary on the Book of Job in Joplin, MO
Joplin, MO / 2012
Book of Job was first presented in Joplin, MO in 2012, on the anniversary of the the tornado that devastated the Joplin community.
Telling Story of Job at Sandy-Ravaged Synagogue in Rockaways
Queens, NY / 2013
Theater of War Productions presented Book of Job in West End Temple in the Rockaways, marking the first time congregants stepped foot in the sanctuary after it was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. See article in The Forward.
Actors bring Book of Job to life for Joplin audiences
The Joplin Globe / 2012
The Book of Job as Community Theater Readings after Superstorm Sandy and other disasters
Public Seminar / 2014
You Are Not Alone Across Time: Using Sophocles to treat PTSD
Harpers Magazine / 2014
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