At the Roeland Park City Council meeting last night, where the anti-discrimination ordinance was voted upon (more on that in another post), I met a young man named Schaeffer Nelson. Schaeffer came to support the anti-discrimination ordinance, and after the disastrous vote we spoke in the hallway for some time. He told me of his original play, Kings of Israel, which is premiering at Kansas City’s 10th Annual Fringe Festival this July.
The play is described as “…a Biblical story with a queer sensibility that places the young shepherd David in a series of bedroom conversations with a violent, paranoid King Saul. David must test the limits of intimacy with a king whom he is secretly charged by God to overthrow. The boundary lines of love, violence, and trust must be crossed if David is to achieve his goal.”
The play is being performed at Phosphor Studios, 1730 Broadway Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64108 with performances on:
- Friday, July 18 @ 6:00pm
- Sunday, July 20 @ 7:30pm
- Friday, July 25 @ 9:00pm
- Saturday, July 26 @ 6:00pm
A synopsis follows:
Irreverently comedic and increasingly tense, Kings of Israel retells the complex and dangerous relationship between King Saul and David, the first two kings of Biblical Israel. After King Saul proves to be unstable and violent, the Prophet Samuel secretly anoints an isolated young shepherd, David, to be Saul’s usurper. But before David fulfill God’s plan and assume the throne, he is dispatched to be Saul’s private musician. Over the course of a series of bedroom conversations, the intimacy between the two men deepens. As bloody choices draw near, David questions where his loyalty to God ends and his relationship with King Saul begins. Kings of Israel takes the Biblical story in a provocative new direction.
The play contains sexual content, violence, and adult language and is for mature audiences.
Schaeffer tells me that the earlier shows are sold out, but tickets are still available for the 9:00pm Friday and 6:00pm Saturday shows (July 25 and 26, respectively). If you are interested in LGBT history or LGBT religious topics, I recommend going to see it.