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Royal Poinciana Chapel to stage ‘The Last Supper’ for Maundy Thursday

By Michele DarganDaily News Staff Writer Updated: 8:01 p.m. Wednesday, April 4, 2012Posted: 7:23 p.m. Wednesday, April 4, 2012As Jesus sits at the table of the Last Supper, he says, “One of you who eateth with me shall betray me.”The 12 disciples explode into a variety of reactions: “What?” “No!” “How could that be?”Then, one by one, each apostle tells the audience about himself, his relationship to Jesus, ending the soliloquy with “Is it I?”The Royal Poinciana Chapel will present a dramatic enactment of Leonardo DaVinci’s The Last Supper at 7 tonight, which is Maundy Thursday. The performance is free and open to the public. Communion will be served.In the Christian faith, Maundy Thursday, also known as Holy Thursday, commemorates the Last Supper and is the prelude to Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, which remembers the Crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.John Randolph will give the responsive reading, while John Morrison and the Rev. Robert Norris will perform the narration.Norris also will lead communion, which is given during the performance.“Maundy Thursday comes from the Latin word Mandatum, which means mandate,” Norris said. “The Last Supper is the commission, the mandate, that is for them and for us as followers of Jesus Christ down through the ages, to see in the sacrament and to share through it the journey of Jesus in his last week of his earthly life, his journey to the cross. There’s a solemnity to the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday and even a surprise element, because the disciples didn’t know what was going on as Jesus was explaining it to them, because he had not yet been arrested.”Nicole Rattinger is directing the production for the second year. She wants each actor to learn about the apostle they portray and to explore how that person felt during the Last Supper.“To me, the most important thing is that they are real men with real feelings and a story to tell — and that each one of them will touch the congregation in a meaningful way,” Rattinger said.“I really wanted them to express themselves. Whether they were angry or they were sad or they were guilty, I really wanted to bring that out so that they’re not just talking heads.“I want them to really feel it, to learn which apostle they are and what they are feeling. They will have a more meaningful experience and, as the audience watches, they will become more involved too.”Norris added, “The production gets better each year, both in the artistic expression and also by the men who play the parts. They seem to invest more of themselves in the stories that each of them has to tell.”

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