The Judson University Center for Worship in the Performing Arts will present its spring production, "Ars Liturgica," March 14-15 and March 20-22 in the Thulin Performance Hall of the Thompson Center, 1151 N. State St., Elgin.
Ars Liturgica (Latin for "the worshipping arts") is a multimedia theatrical production that will focus on the theme of "Slavery: Past, Present and Future," to explore the issue of slavery from both historical and modern-day perspectives, incorporating the visual arts, drama, video, dance and music.
Ars Liturgica is the first production of its kind at Judson, meant to be a showcase of the interdisciplinary arts through the university's newly established Center for Worship in the Performing Arts, explains Judson theater director and professor Kimberly Schmidt. Each showcase will present a theme.
This year's production will take a global perspective of slavery, sharing stories of African slaves in southern America, as well as stories of modern-day abolitionists, and even a reflection from Judson Art and Design Professor Joe Cory on his 2013 trip to South Africa where he learned about the inhumanities and horrors of apartheid.
"Slavery didn't end with the American Civil War, and it wasn't an issue unique to America," says Schmidt. "Most people don't realize that there are more slaves now that ever before."
Her assertion is right. According to International Justice Mission, one of the world's leading nonprofit organizations to fight modern slavery, there are an estimated 27 million slaves in the world today.
"Our hope with this production of Ars Liturgica is that it will call attention to the issue, and encourage the audience to commit to join the fight against slavery," Schmidt explains.
The production won't just emphasize awareness, though. The event will also host several nonprofit organizations that are working to end human trafficking and modern slavery, including Administer Justice, International Justice Mission, Awana, and One Day's Wages. Information tables will be arranged in the Thompson Center, where Ars Liturgica will be staged, so that show attendees can have the opportunities at their fingertips to join the fight to end slavery.
The Ars Liturgica production is one in a series of opportunities at Judson this spring that addresses the issues of social justice, including hosting a live simulcast of The Justice Conference, as well as a donation campaign for One Day's Wages.
On Feb. 21-22, Judson hosted a simulcast of The Justice Conference, which is a networked national conference that educates, inspires and connects a generation of men and women around a shared concern for the vulnerable and oppressed.
In conjunction with The Justice Conference and Ars Liturgica, Judson University has also committed to raising $5,000 for One Day's Wages Human Trafficking fund. One Day's Wages is a grass-roots movement of people, stories, and actions to alleviate extreme global poverty and associated social problems by promoting simple giving and sustainable relief by developing and supporting partnerships with local organizations in developing areas. Judson's ODW campaign will end in March with the presentation of Ars Liturgica. Those who wish to contribute to Judson's ODW campaign can visit www.onedayswages.org/donate/org/judson-university.
Tickets for the production of Ars Liturgica can be purchased at the door or in advance by calling the box office at (847) 628-2625. For more information, contact Kimberly Schmidt at firstname.lastname@example.org or (847) 628-1118.