CSBSJU Theater: Nathan the Wise

Nathan the Wise by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
Directed by Kaarin Johnston

Jerusalem, 1192.  A Sultan, a Dervish, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, A Friar, a Templar knight and Nathan the Jew live side by side thanks to a fragile truce that could collapse at any moment.  Nathan has raised a Christian infant according to good moral principles rather than a specific religion so she may decide for herself the "true" religion.  When the ruling Sultan asks, "which religion is the one most beloved by God?" a pious Nathan, finds a way to answer him.  When this play was written in the 1700's the pope refused to let it be produced; today this 240 year old play's message is terribly relevant.  It is being produced in part to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Collegeville Institute.