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Where Hope Is: Stories of Benedictine Influence is a new interview-based theater production by playwright Jenn Bokoch Gillett. The play reflects a snapshot-in-time—1960s to the 1980s—of the influence of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie created from a dozen conversations culled from more than 60 interviews conducted by Jenn with St. Benedict Academy (SBA) alumnae, Benedictine sisters, and others whose lives were shaped and are still being shaped by the sisters. 

Date: Sunday, June 30, 2024
Time: 2:30 p.m.
Location: Hirt Auditorium, Blasco Memorial Library, Erie PA
Cost: $10 Click here for tickets.

The story is one of spirituality, community, and steadfastness in facing questions of meaning, faith, and gospel accountability, that challenged thinking and instilled young women with a sense of their own worth and power. It’s a story of prophetic voices and passionate commitment to those denied a place at any table. It’s a women’s story of ongoing potential for new generations seeking connection and meaning today. 

The scenes that the actors will portray on stage will be combined with short, giant-screen, video clips of actual interviews in the creative telling this women’s story. 

Where Hope Is will also be available as an online audio archive that will feature all 60 interviews.

Jenn Bokoch Gillett is a documentary theater-maker residing in New York. Her mother and her aunt were SBA graduates, and she grew up hearing intriguing stories about their high school years—which is the connection, the motivation, and the inspiration behind this new work. Director Ashley Renee Thaxton-Stevenson and six actors will accompany her from New York to present Where Hope Is. They have been working on the play for over a year.

Purchase an ad in the Where Hope Is program booklet now. Proceeds support the work of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie. Consider a class message (if you're an SBA alum), a business promotion, words of gratitude or encouragement, or a memorial for deceased friend or family member. Full details, including ad sizes, are on the spec sheet here. Ad costs: $500--full page; $250--half page; $100--quarter page; $25--listing with name and 70-character message. You'll also get a link to the spec sheet after purchasing your ad. Ads and copy are due June 1. Purchase your program ad here and send the ad to [email protected].

Questions? Contact Michelle Scully, [email protected] or call 814-899-0614 ext 2507