Early taste of acting prompts Penn to write two plays

    Dwain Penn was cast as Pontius Pilate in a 1983 Christmas play at Pritchett Memorial Baptist Church in Upson County.  He made his own costume (later used for a young King David) and researched the character beyond Bible references.  As he attended regular practice for the play, he kept his enthusiasm at bay until the actual performance.  When it came time for him to speak, his voice boomed across the sanctuary startling everyone and garnering looks of either disdain or admiration.

    After Penn approached the director about ideas for the next year, she gave him the assignment of writing an entirely new play.  He took it to heart and invested the month of January 1984 to write the work in a sparsely furnished upstairs garret of an apartment on Ward Street in Macon.  The evening he finished the play, God's Spirit allowed Dwain to "see" the pages "breathing" and revealed that the work had life and would be used to change the lives of others.

    Penn agreed to head the work to produce the play at Pritchett and invested hours during the second half of the year building props (even a fake plywood fireplace) and sew many of the costumes.  The play had its premiere for three nights the third weekend of December.  One lady, a relative of a church member, came to Penn and told him that she had attended many plays in New York and New Orleans and she had never seen one as powerful as God of Miracles.

    When Penn left Pritchett to help charter a new church, he received many of the props and costumes to take with him.  He was allowed to produce the play at Prayer Mountain Church in 1988, but its effectiveness was tenuous due to poor stage directions causing delays in entrances of characters.  A pastoral friend of the fellowship, Rev. Darrell Gooden of Tallapoosa, Georgia, requested a copy of the play and performed it for several years at his church, Rehoboth Christian Center.

    The Passion of Christ play never got off the ground.  Penn, along with several friends, tried to organize a community wide passion play in 1985 and advertised for several months and conducted a few meetings, even going as far as combining the four Gospel's account of Christ's passion into one comprehensive work and purchasing bolts of cloth and having volunteers sew dozens of robe-like garments.  The majority of the research and compilation of Bible passages were done by a fellow Christian, who wished to remain anonymous and use the pseudonym - T. J. Haller. 

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EXCERPTS:

    God of Miracles:

    (....The window slowly opens and two "male" angels crawl in.  The first angel is very short and plump.  He soon reveals himself to be the sensible one.  The other angel is tall and thin.  He is very inept at being "celestial".)

   Angel #1: Is this the place?

   Angel #2: I know not.  I'll check.  (Unrolls a scroll.  Reads.)  "Help needed at the residence of Steve Morgan, a man whose is hardened by the death of his firstborn.  He refuses to love his living children and mistreats his wife."  Hhhmm!

    (Rolls up the scroll.)  Sound like a nut tough to crack!

   Angel #1: Not by the grace of God.

   Angel #2: (Pointing to Steve.)  Is that him?

   Angel #1: I know not, we'll see.  (Raising his hand to eye level and slowly lowering it, whispers.)  Steve, put the paper down.  (Steve lowers the paper and looks toward the window.)

   Angel #2: (Shivering.)  Ooooo! That's him!  I can feel his cold heart all the way over here!

   Angel #1: That's not his heart, that's the window.  You left it open!

Passion of Christ:

    Simon, the Pharisee:  (After inspecting the tables and hearing the children chant, approaches Jesus.)  Do you hear what these children say?

    Jesus:  Yes.  Have you  never read, "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?"  (A woman brings an infant and hands it to Jesus.)

    Matthew:  No, take that child away.  Don't bother the master!

    Jesus:  (Receiving the child gladly.)  Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom           of God.  Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall not enter therein.

    (In disgust, Simon turns away and joins the other Pharisees.  Jesus begins to depart with his disciples following when he meets a blind beggar at the door of the temple.  The beggar, sensing the crowd coming, begins to beg for alms.)

    Beggar:  Alms!  Alms!  A few mites for a poor blind man!

    James:  Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents that he was born blind?

    Jesus:  Neither has this man sinned, or his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night comes when no man can work.  As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.  (Jesus spits upon the ground, making clay of the spittle and anoints the man's eyes.)  Go and wash in the pool of Siloam.  (Two disciples eagerly carry the beggar offstage as the Pharisees approach Jesus to question Him.)