Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger will star in the lead role as Archbishop Thomas Becket in a staged reading of the T.S. Eliot drama “Murder in the Cathedral” on Wednesday, June 30, at 7:30 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 125 Eagle St., Albany. The performance, which will feature other diocesan clergy and lay people in key roles, is free and open to the public. No tickets are required.
Published in 1935 and performed in the same year at Canterbury Cathedral, the play addresses issues of faith and politics. The verse drama depicts the martyrdom of Archbishop Becket in Canterbury Cathedral during the reign of Henry II in 1170.
Although staging the play came up during a dinner conversation with Bishop Scharfenberger, it was Father Daniel Quinn, pastor of Blessed Sacrament in Albany, who turned the idea into a reality, lining up actors, setting up rehearsals and handling myriad details. He will also perform in the play, along with several other priests, including Father Anthony Barratt, diocesan director of Prayer and Worship and pastor of Holy Trinity in Hudson; Father Anthony Ligato, diocesan Vicar for Vocations and pastor of St. Michael the Archangel in Troy, and St. Jude the Apostle in Wynantskill; and Father Chris Welch, pastor of St. Cecelia in Fonda and Sacred Heart in Tribes Hill. Dr. Brian Gurley, director of music and organist for the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, will provide the music
A free will offering will be taken up at the performance to help support future art programs at the Cathedral.