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Thread: Is starring in negative roles in plays wrong?

  1. #1
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    May 2012
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    Default Is starring in negative roles in plays wrong?

    Hey, I've been wracking my brain about this problem of mine. I'm thinking of auditioning for a play, but I wanted to know if it would be bad/sinful to star in a negative role. For instance, one of the roles is a mean girl. Would it be sinful of me to audition for the part? I ask this because 1 Thessalonians 5:22 says to "Abstain from all appearance of evil." So would playing as a mean girl be considered an "appearance of evil"?

  2. #2
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    I think the fact that you are even questioning this should give you your answer. Your conscience would bother you the whole time, just because you are questioning it.
    Tom

  3. #3

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    There are a few things at play here. Hahaha! Pun there. Hee hee!

    My first thought is when Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites, he used a term indigenous to the acting community of the day. Being a "hypocrite" is backed by the motive of displaying oneself as righteous when inside the heart rebels. I see the paradox here: the role is about a rebellious person, and we are rebellious people. So, it's not hypocritical. However, we are a new creation in Christ and are no longer a rebellious because we desire his ways. For a believer to play the role of a bad/evil person, he/she must channel that rebellious attitude to play the part well. So, I see this as a struggle.

    It's really gonna rest on what you hear from the Lord. Your decision should never be based out of guilt or condemnation. If so, it's not from God. Remember, there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. Make your decision out of a deep love for the Lord and a desire to be like him. So in a nutshell, keep seeking the Lord. He'll answer your question without guilt or shame attached to it.

    Praying many blessings over you!
    Melanie Siewert, Christ's Servant
    BLOG: http://www.worshipvanguard.blogspot.com

  4. #4
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    So would playing as a mean girl be considered an "appearance of evil"?
    My opinion is "no." In a story, somebody has to be the antagonist in order for the protagonist to have something to do/accomplish/learn/defeat. If the mean girl role helps the viewers of the play enjoy a great story that presents a truth about life, and is entertaining, then I recommend playing it for all it's worth.

    On the other hand, I agree with Tom that your personal convictions about this may differ. If you find the preparation to play this role disturbs you or nags at your conscience, then by all means abstain.
    Tony Hartsfield

  5. #5
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    I agree with Tony. It would depend on the end result, what the play looks like thematically, and what the villain brings to the table.

    For instance, the character of Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street would certainly qualify as an "evil character." However, the play itself is an allegory about revenge, and to a lesser extent, about class struggle. By seeing how far Todd has fallen, how consumed he is by his revenge, how frustrated he is with his station in life, the audience can look beyond his evil acts and actually sympathize with him, and perhaps something in themselves.

  6. #6
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    I highly recommend to you a book by Steve Turner titled "Imagine--a Vision for Christians in the Arts." I would very respectfully disagree with the statement in an earlier post:

    "I think the fact that you are even questioning this should give you your answer. Your conscience would bother you the whole time, just because you are questioning it."

    Yes, your caution is a good thing. A wise friend of mine calls it a "tension." This tension is admirable and the right place for you to be. However, your conscience is influenced not only by truth, but by your culture (taboos, preferences, and expectations of others.)

    As Mikeymo1741 pointed out above, you must look at the OVERALL message of the play. Does it shine light on what is true, noble, etc?

    Good art is built on contrast. Light/dark, tension/resolution, good/evil. If evil is portrayed in art as merely "naughty" then the portrayal of good lacks weight. This is why much of Christian art seems "sugar-coated" and out-of-touch with reality. We are afraid to proclaim truth in the context of the world that is. Please do not take the following example as a personal attack on a gifted painter, but the surrealistic, utopian world portrayed in Thomas Kinkade's popular themes illustrates my point.

    Yes, Christians are called to holiness (not OF the world) but we are also called to live IN the world--the real world. I believe all Christian artists/actors/writers need to live in this tension, and NO--we don't need to SHOW EVERYTHING in a film or play. Give the audience credit for having an imagination. (Hitchcock was a master of this--"Rear Window" is a great example). The Bible itself does not shy away from describing evil as evil.

    So--should you play the part? I can't answer that for you--I'm glad you're asking the question, though.

  7. #7
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    May 2012
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    Thank you all so much for your replies! It really helped a lot! I decided I would audition for the part because the antagonist really is there for character development and progression of the story so thanks! God bless you all

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