“Compelling”                          “Vivid”                            “Profoundly Mysterious”

In Fellowship for Performing Arts' production of Mark’s Gospel, audiences do more than simply hear a familiar biblical story, they are immersed in the sights and sounds of Jesus’ remarkable life—from rural obscurity, to urban sensation, to political assassination.

In this one-man presentation, Max McLean—founder and artistic director of FPA—brings that story off the page and to life on stage, making it relevant for all audiences, regardless of their perspective.

Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune raved that Mark’s Gospel is “Compelling…there’s nothing like seeing the entire shebang in one sitting.  McLean is formidably articulate…[but] he refuses to upstage the narrative…letting the words and vivid biblical characters say what they have to say.”

As it toured the nation in 2009, including a sold-out run in Chicago’s renown Mercury Theatre, McLean earned a Jeff Award—Chicago theatre’s top honor—for Solo Performance.

"Jesus is certainly a controversial figure," McLean says. "Yet he has been tamed by over familiarity. Bringing a theatrical lens to the original source for Christianity helps restore Jesus back to size. It is meant to surprise and delight.”

It has certainly done that. McLean recounts a story of being invited to present Mark’s Gospel at Duke University.

“In attendance was the director of the Drama Department,” McLean recalls. “After the performance, he wrote me a letter. ‘I was dragged kicking and screaming to your show,’ he wrote. ‘I anticipated it with all the pleasure of dental surgery. And what did I see? One of the most skilled actors I have seen in a long time. A piece of material that is powerful, succinct and moving irrespective of one’s religious belief—or even whether or not one has any religious beliefs. Mark’s Gospel made me—perhaps for the very first time—understand why it is such affecting material. I have certainly never seen any piece of religious drama that carried the sheer theatrical and emotional impact of your performance.’”

Hedy Weiss of the Chicago Sun-Times summed up the show’s impact well, “I’ve always found a good deal of the Bible baffling. Only after seeing Mark’s Gospel did I realize what had been missing. It comes down to performance. With wit and humor, Max McLean brings a dramatically rooted clarity to what is a profoundly mysterious odyssey.”