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Exploring Life's Big Questions: Ecclesiastes Takes Center Stage in OKC University's 'Meaningless' - Feb 17 & 18

OKLAHOMA CITY – One of the most controversial books of the Bible will take the form of a one-man show in February at Oklahoma City University.

“Meaningless,” featuring acclaimed actor, director and writer Rodney Brazil, will provide a unique adaptation of Ecclesiastes at 8 p.m. Feb. 17 and 2 p.m. Feb. 18 in OCU’s Black Box Theatre. Tickets ($20) are available on the Jewish Theatre of Oklahoma website. Tickets are free for OCU students, faculty, staff, and trustees. A free sneak peek of the show will take place during OCU’s University Worship at 1 p.m. Feb. 15 in the Bishop W. Angie Smith Chapel and is available on livestream.

“Meaningless” takes audiences on a journey into the enigmatic world of Ecclesiastes, offering a funny and poignant exploration of life's big questions.

Lisa Wolfe, professor of Hebrew Bible and author of the 2020 commentary Qoheleth (Ecclesiastes), explains that “from the time the Bible was first compiled, Ecclesiastes has been the subject of debate. Does it belong in the collection of sacred texts, or not? The theme-word in Ecclesiastes, traditionally translated ‘vanity,’ becomes the title of this play in a different translation: ‘Meaningless.’ Ecclesiastes, with Brazil as its avatar, pointedly asks whether there is meaning in God, life, death and pleasure. The answers lie with the audience, and each person brings their own perspective to the questions.”

The production will take place thanks to a partnership between Jewish Theatre of Oklahoma and the OCU Wimberly School of Religion’s Neustadt Lecture series.

Brazil has crafted a stage adaptation that goes beyond the scholarly discussions of text-critical issues and historical context. Instead, “Meaningless” immerses the audience in the mysterious beauty of the harshly realistic ancient text.

Since 2022, “Meaningless” has been touring across the U.S., including stops in Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Omaha, Salt Lake City and Fort Worth, as well as an off-off-Broadway engagement as part of the 2023 FRIGID New York City Fringe Festival.

Brazil has appeared in several productions at the Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, including “Lyric’s A Christmas Carol,” “Frost/Nixon” and “The Rocky Horror Show.” He has also acted in “Little Me” at OKC Rep and in plays like “The Divine Sister,” “Arsenic & Old Lace” and “Psycho Beach Party” at The Boom.

As a director, Brazil co-founded Next Stage, a theater group based in Oklahoma City. Its initiative focuses on developing new plays and supporting the local theater community.


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