Brooklyn Academy of Music, 1996. Also at: Minnesota Opera Co.; New York Stage & Film Festival; Cathedral of St. Ann the Divine; Mark Taper Forum; St. Ignatius, New York, 2000; St. Malachy’s, New York, 2000; Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York (2005)
On December 2, 1980, lay missioner Jean Donovan, Maryknoll sisters Ita Ford and Maura Clarke, and Ursuline sister Dorothy Kazel were murdered by a death squad for their work helping the poor of El Salvador and for their human rights advocacy, which were considered subversive activities during a brutal civil war that claimed an estimated 75,000 lives.
Missionaries tells their stories as well as the lives of other martyrs, including Father Rutilio Grande and Archbishop Oscar Romero, and the thousands of anonymous people who suffered persecution, torture, and death in El Salvador in the 1980's.
A haunting folk oratorio based on the letters, journals, lives, and work of the four American church women killed in El Salvador. It was first produced at the Brooklyn Academy of Music after workshop at Vassar College in 1996, sung at the Church of St. Ignatius in New York in 2000, then staged in Cleveland, Ohio in 2004, and performed in concert at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in 2005.
Directed and Composed by Elizabeth Swados
Cast: Dorothy Abrahams, Vanessa Aspillaga, Carrie Crow, Abby Freeman, Marc Guinn, Jim Holdridge, Peter Kim, Gretchen Kritch, Nick Petrone, Heather Ramey, Michelle Rios, Nina Schreiber, Tina Stafford, Rachel Stern, Amy White
Music Direction/Piano: David Gaines, Reeds: Aaron Heick, Guitar: Paul O’Keefe, Percussion: Genji Ito, Other Arrangements: Michael Sirotta