The Poetry & Plays of Saint John Paul

Across three one-hour sessions, we will explore some of the themes in the dramatic writing of Karol Wojtyla, the poet-playwright-actor who became Pope John Paul II.

Session One: Theatre as Cultural Resistance – We will learn about the conditions under which Wojtyla was involved in theatre during World War II during the time of the Nazi Occupation and about the Theatre of the Living Word which sprang up as a means of cultural resistance. We will read from his early play, Job, in which he grapples with the meaning of suffering using the format of Greek tragedy.

Session Two: The Human Person – Using excerpts from the play The Jeweller’s Shop, we will look at Wojtyla’s insight into human relationships in loving responsibly. We will also introduce the character of “Adam” who appears in several of the plays and read from poems that reflect on humanity.

Session Three: Adam and the New Creation – We will focus on the character of Adam, the character who recurs in many of Wojtyla’s plays as a kind of everyman. Using excerpts from the plays Radiation of Fatherhood and The Jeweller’s Shop we will explore what Wojtyla understands about the human condition, our relationship with God and our responsibility in family life, working life and care of the poor. We may also touch upon the Vocation of the Artist and read from the play Our God’s Brother.

Additional Info

Drama / Literature / Reflection
Age Group:
Suitable for S4-S6 / Adults. Up to 20 persons.
Space Required:
Classroom or hall
Ability to play a DVD if possible
3 sessions (c.90 minutes per session)
Suggested Donation £100