Plays Directory : MASS: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players, and Dancers

Welcome to The Mandy Network Plays Directory.

The information below is intended to give you a brief guide to the show and highlight some of the other The Mandy Network members who have also been involved in this show.

  • Author
    Leonard Bernstein
  • Written
    1971
  • Overview
    MASS (formally, "MASS: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players, and Dancers") is a musical theatre work composed by Leonard Bernstein.

    In the beginning all of the performers are in harmony and agreement. During the course of the Mass, however, the street choir begins expressing doubts and suspicions about the necessity of God in their lives and the role of the Mass itself. At the play's emotional climax, the growing cacophony of the chorus' complaining finally interrupts the elevation of the Body and Blood (the consecrated bread and wine). The celebrant, in a furious rage, hurls the sacred bread, housed in an ornate cross-like monstrance, and the chalice of wine, smashing them on the floor. At this sacrilege the other cast members collapse to the ground as if dead while the Celebrant sings a solo. This solo blends the chorus's disbelief with his realization that he feels worn out and wonders where the strength of his original faith has gone. At the end of his song, he too collapses. A bird-like (Holy Spirit) flute solo begins, darting here and there from different speakers in the hall, finally "alighting" in a single clear note. An altar server, who was absent during the conflict, then sings a hymn of praise to God, "Sing God a Secret Song[6]". This restores the faith of the three choirs, who join the altar server, one by one, in his hymn of praise. They tell the Celebrant "Pax tecum" (Peace be with you), and end with a hymn asking for God's blessing. As in the actual Mass, the last words of the piece are: "The Mass is ended; go in peace."

If you would like to find work on MASS: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players, and Dancers, join The Mandy Network today to get alerted to new roles and jobs.

Alternative Names

Bernstein Mass, MASS, Mass (Bernstein)