The producer is a priest

The Rev. Jay Wegman, an associate priest at St. Luke in the Fields, an Episcopal church in Greenwich Village and director of the Abrons Arts Center, thought that he might have to choose between a life in the theater and a call to the priesthood. A New York Times profile shows that he both calls are intertwined.

“I think artists are some of the most exciting theologians around,” he said this week, sitting in the Abrons lobby. “They don’t say the word ‘God,’ but the experience of God is beyond words.”

But not every artist Wegman works with knows about his parallel vocation.

That detail about Mr. Wegman’s background came as a surprise to the choreographer and dancer Robert La Fosse, who is working with Mr. Wegman on a monthly series that would showcase emerging artists at the Abrons center. Mr. La Fosse laughed upon learning of Mr. Wegman’s vocation: “That’s maybe a first for me — a theater producer who’s also clergy.”

While Father Wegman knew that he was not called to parish ministry, writing sermons, chairing committees and “getting on the sexton to fix the boiler,” as he puts it, there are certain eerie similarities in his life now.

Philippe Petit, the tightrope walker who was the subject of the Academy Award-winning documentary “Man on Wire,” first met Mr. Wegman at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, and is currently considering premiering a one-man show at the Abrons Arts Center Theater. To Mr. Petit, there was something natural about a priest and theologian overseeing the avant garde arts programming in New York as one small venue after another, not to mention the big ones, shutter their doors.

“In the arts, as we all know,” Mr. Petit said, “you have to have faith.”

Read the rest here.

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