Father Tim Farley has a steady hand on the pulpit of his affluent parish. He's quick with a joke, likes the ponies and doesn't shy away from a drink. What he does shy away from is controversy, confrontation and any sort of conflict — he's a big believer in telling the people what they want to hear, because everybody likes the messenger that way. Unfortunately, young seminarian Mark Dolson believes a priest should light a fire under his congregation to burn away all the hypocrisy and complacency, and he's not afraid to call out Father Tim in the middle of this week's homely, spiritually empty sermon in order to light that blaze. Can a seasoned equivocator soothe the young firebrand? Can the rabblerouser reawaken the older priest's passion for enacting change in the spiritual lives of his flock? Bill C. Davis' Mass Appeal examines two approaches not just to tending a flock, but to living one's life in a world where conformity is more valued than conviction — even in an institution founded on the beliefs of a famous non-conformist thinker. Dramatic License Productions presents Mass Appeal at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (May 26 through June 12) at the Dramatic License Theatre in Chesterfield Mall (291 Chesterfield Mall; 636-220-7012 or www.dramaticlicenseproductions.org). Tickets are $18 to $25.
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: May 26. Continues through June 12, 2011