Andrew Korfhage enters The Point carrying bread and wine. Walking onto the stage, he greets the audience as any preacher would, and immediately we are transported into a real church.
It certainly helps that the audience sits in pews at The Point, but even if that were not the case, Korfhage is so convincing as a preacher that it wouldn’t matter.
The piece, God’s Wrath Revealed and Deserved, is actually a real sermon taken from a preacher in Korfhage’s hometown, presented by a man named Pastor Daniel. Each audience member is given a character with his or her program: a small bio is attached to the programs, giving the audience members something to ponder while enjoying the sermon. These characters are people mentioned, even if just briefly, in the sermon, and their bios prompt further thought in regards to various stances on religion.
The sermon itself is captivating. Korfhage as Pastor Daniel discusses accepting God and creating a relationship with God. He is convincing as a pastor, and even has the audience stand at one point to pray with him. Korfhage knows how to embody a preacher, and he understands his audience. The language and quotes are accessible, and there is also humor tied in.
Korfhage’s main topic of debate seems to be the subject depicted on his program. A mannequin stands with a collar around its neck, holding the leash. In his sermon, Pastor Daniel discusses having real and true relationships with God, and talks about God’s anger at the refusal to accept him. He compares this to having a mannequin substitute as a wife, and treating a friend as an animal and walking him around the block.
What is so intriguing about Korfhage’s piece is how he ends it. By the end of the thought-provoking sermon, clearly stating that God should be accepted into a person’s life, Pastor Daniel puts a leash on himself, and becomes confused. He repeats random lines from his sermon, and cannot seem to make sense of anything, eventually ending right where he started. Korfhage’s commentary on the sermon is open-ended, which is what makes it exciting to watch and walk away from. He doesn’t so much as present a conclusion, but instead asks a question. What do you think? What would your character think? What does Pastor Daniel really think? Is this view of God accurate, and how should we draw these conclusions?
For anyone who enjoys religious based debate, Korfhage provides entertaining and interesting fodder.
God’s Wrath Revealed and Deserved
Conceived and Performed by Andrew Korfhage
Directed by Jenifer Alonzo
Reviewed by Caitlin DeMerlis
Running time: 60 minutes
Read all the reviews and check out the full Capital Fringe schedule here.
Did you see the show? What did you think?