Evangelists for Empathy: The Making of an Anabaptist Theatre Company
Angela Konrad + Jessica Garden

When people think of “Christian drama”, images of shepherds in bathrobes and re-enactments of the Good Samaritan story might spring to mind. Of course, the reality is much more complex. While Christianity and theatre have a rocky history, Christians who make theatre are numerous and there are many professional theatre companies with Christian mandates throughout the world. The work of these companies varies widely, from explicitly evangelistic in nature to virtually indistinguishable from regional theatres. However, few so-called Christian theatres have a clearly professed association with a particular theological position. This presentation reveals how Anabaptist theology informs the vision, mission, and scope of work of Dark Glass Theatre. Examples from past, current, and future projects illustrate the ways in which the company integrates an Anabaptist focus on practical social ethics with diverse theatrical offerings, as a means to speak to contemporary culture.


Angela Konrad is a director, teacher, dramaturge, and aspiring pacifist. She directs regularly for Vancouver’s Pacific Theatre, most recently the critically-acclaimed production of John Patrick Shanley’s Outside Mullingar. Her production of Craig Wright’s Grace won Jessie awards for Outstanding Direction and Outstanding Production. For Glass City Theatre, she directed Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train, which won the Jessie for Outstanding Production. Angela has experience in many areas of theatre, from production design to administration to marketing. She is Chair of the Theatre program at Trinity Western University and the Artistic Director of Dark Glass Theatre

Jessica Garden is an artist, administrator, and passionate social justice advocate, who studied theatre and literature at Trinity Western University. She is a freelance director whose recent and future projects include the world premiere of Throne at this year’s Vancouver Fringe Festival, and The Miracle Worker coming up in 2018 with Gallery 7. As Associate Producer for Dark Glass Theatre, she is thrilled to work in a place where her administrative skills, love of literature, and theatre experience can all come out and play. There is nothing she would rather do than tell meaningful stories through the theatrical arts.