Musical play portrays beauty of love in all forms

Driving in his car on the way to Mass listening to the music of Greg and Lizzie Boudreaux a few years ago, current Notre Dame seminarian Joey Martineck had a love story unfold clearly in his mind. It was inspired by the biblical story of Adam and Eve and St. John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body.”
But this inspiration wasn’t at an opportune time for Martineck to flesh it out. His life was in transition, not finding satisfaction with his sales job at Texas Instruments and even questioning his Catholic faith.

 “In my own journey, I was entering a gray period of faith and questioning in my early 20s,” Martineck said. “(Asking) some hard questions of what marriage is? Why be pure and chaste in a world that doesn’t value that?” 

He had envisioned getting married, he said, not ever desiring to become a priest. He had a stable job and was making good money, but there was a tug at his heart for something else.

Martineck quit his job and began reaching out to God, asking what he wanted him to do. Discerning the priesthood became part of the process. He said the fruit of his long journey of discovery was finding and understanding “Theology of the Body.”
“‘Theology of the Body’ not only explains the real beauty of marriage as an icon of Christ’s love for the church, but it really gives celibacy a proper place, skipping the sign that marriage gives of recreating God’s love for the church. … I saw the beauty of marriage and could also see the beauty of celibacy, and I could open the doors of priesthood.”

Martineck is now in his second year at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans.

Writing, rewriting
It wasn’t until August 2015 that Martineck began writing what would become, “Garden: An Original Love Story,” which will premiere March 16-19 at Notre Dame Seminary’s Schulte Auditorium. 

“It’s a love story centered on Adam and Eve and touches not only human love, but the ultimate love we are made for in God,” Martineck said. “I think it’s a story where everybody can find a place, because it is the heritage we all come from with common themes: what it means to be human; the ultimate meaning of our lives, something we can identify with and share.”

After finishing the first script, he formed a review team of seminarians, scholars and those who worked in ministry to fine tune his musical. It went through several revisions to get to its current form. 

Among the advisers was Brian Butler, executive director of Dumb Ox Ministries, who eventually came on board as producer. He said when Martineck proposed  the idea of the play, he was impressed but knew it could be fine tuned for greater impact. After input from many individuals, the rewrite blew everyone away. Butler saw the potential of the Gospel reaching audiences in another way other than a lecture – through theater.

“It ties directly into a beautiful experience of sharing the message of the truth and beauty of God’s image through art,” Butler said. “In the new evangelization, you have to get used to doing a lot of things the first time.”

Martineck said he wrote his script around several songs from the solo albums of Greg and Lizzy Boudreaux, songs that reflect their love  – growing from their relationship of high school sweethearts to becoming husband and wife in 2012 – to inspirations in their songwriting from St. John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body.” 

As he was writing, he began collaborating with the duo to write new songs and lyrics for the “Garden” musical.

“It was an extremely good and healing process for me to not only work with Greg, but to get (the musical) out of my own head,” he said, “By collaborating, I felt like I could bring the work to new heights.”

A ways from high school
Martineck’s yen for theater began with improv – something he’s been doing since his freshman high school year and has continued at the seminary – but he first whet an appetite for musical theater as Tevye the milkman in “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Theater became a mental release from the computer engineering curriculum he studied in college at Georgia Tech. His first foray as a playwright was a two-man, 28-page play, “Wise Men,” based on the Three Magi who visited Jesus, recently published by Eldridge Plays and Musicals. Garden is his second work.

For teens and older
Martineck said there is something powerful about the language of theater. It certainly changed his life.      

“What’s really good about this play is it will be really exciting if you know about ‘Theology of the Body,’ but if you know nothing about ‘Theology of the Body,’ this will be an easy introduction,” he said. The point of a play like this is to create an encounter with beauty, experiencing truth in an easy way, Martineck said. 

He sees it as a wake up call for God, the Gospel and “Theology of the Body.”

“I hope this is a turning point in peoples’ lives, an encounter with the Holy Spirit,” he said. 

“Garden” has a cast of 14 that has been rehearsing since November 2016, but more than 45 individuals, Catholics and non-Catholics, alike, have helped in the production. The play runs approximately two hours with an intermission.

“It’s an incredible collaboration with professional choreography, musicians and stage managers – all through connections that God has provided for us,” Martineck said. “It has inspired the cast to be more loving, patient and kind.”

Butler plans to have Garden published and is excited to see where the Lord takes his message through this play, which he sees as a “celebration of the joy and glory of human love.”

“We’re grateful to see it come to life and on the impact it will have on those who see it,” Butler said. “It clearly points to the origins of that love, and ultimately it brings us back to the divine heart that is pumping all the blood into the body of human love in a way that is beautiful and fun (through theater).”
Christine Bordelon can be reached at cbordelon@clarionherald.org.

GARDEN, THE MUSICAL
► What: Full-stage musical play written by seminarian Joey Martineck as a beautiful retelling of the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. It incorporates music by duo Greg & Lizzy.
Driving in his car on the way to Mass listening to the music of Greg and Lizzie Boudreaux a few years ago, current Notre Dame seminarian Joey Martineck had a love story unfold clearly in his mind. It was inspired by the biblical story of Adam and Eve and St. John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body.” 
                  But this inspiration wasn’t at an opportune time for Martineck to flesh it out. His life was in transition, not finding satisfaction with his sales job at Texas Instruments and even questioning his Catholic faith. 
                  “In my own journey, I was entering a gray period of faith and questioning in my early 20s,” Martineck said. “(Asking) some hard questions of what marriage is? Why be pure and chaste in a world that doesn’t value that?” 
                  He had envisioned getting married, he said, not ever desiring to become a priest. He had a stable job and was making good money, but there was a tug at his heart for something else.
                  Martineck quit his job and began reaching out to God, asking what he wanted him to do. Discerning the priesthood became part of the process. He said the fruit of his long journey of discovery was finding and understanding “Theology of the Body.”
                  “‘Theology of the Body’ not only explains the real beauty of marriage as an icon of Christ’s love for the church, but it really gives celibacy a proper place, skipping the sign that marriage gives of recreating God’s love for the church. … I saw the beauty of marriage and could also see the beauty of celibacy, and I could open the doors of priesthood.”
                  Martineck is now in his second year at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans.
Writing, rewriting
                  It wasn’t until August 2015 that Martineck began writing what would become, “Garden: An Original Love Story,” which will premiere March 16-19 at Notre Dame Seminary’s Schulte Auditorium. 
                  “It’s a love story centered on Adam and Eve and touches not only human love, but the ultimate love we are made for in God,” Martineck said. “I think it’s a story where everybody can find a place, because it is the heritage we all come from with common themes: what it means to be human; the ultimate meaning of our lives, something we can identify with and share.”
                  After finishing the first script, he formed a review team of seminarians, scholars and those who worked in ministry to fine tune his musical. It went through several revisions to get to its current form. 
                  Among the advisers was Brian Butler, executive director of Dumb Ox Ministries, who eventually came on board as producer. He said when Martineck proposed  the idea of the play, he was impressed but knew it could be fine tuned for greater impact. After input from many individuals, the rewrite blew everyone away. Butler saw the potential of the Gospel reaching audiences in another way other than a lecture – through theater.
                  “It ties directly into a beautiful experience of sharing the message of the truth and beauty of God’s image through art,” Butler said. “In the new evangelization, you have to get used to doing a lot of things the first time.”
                  Martineck said he wrote his script around several songs from the solo albums of Greg and Lizzy Boudreaux, songs that reflect their love  – growing from their relationship of high school sweethearts to becoming husband and wife in 2012 – to inspirations in their songwriting from St. John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body.” 
                  As he was writing, he began collaborating with the duo  to write new songs and lyrics for the “Garden” musical.
                  “It was an extremely good and healing process for me to not only work with Greg, but to get (the musical) out of my own head,” he said, “By collaborating, I felt like I could bring the work to new heights.”
A ways from high school
                  Martineck’s yen for theater began with improv – something he’s been doing since his freshman high school year and has continued at the seminary – but he first whet an appetite for musical theater as Tevye the milkman in “Fiddler on the Roof.”
                  Theater became a mental release from the computer engineering curriculum he studied in college at Georgia Tech. His first foray as a playwright was a two-man, 28-page play, “Wise Men,” based on the Three Magi who visited Jesus, recently published by Eldridge Plays and Musicals. Garden is his second work.
For teens and older
                  Martineck said there is something powerful about the language of theater. It certainly changed his life.                             “What’s really good about this play is it will be really exciting if you know about ‘Theology of the Body,’ but if you know nothing about ‘Theology of the Body,’ this will be an easy introduction,” he said. The point of a play like this is to create an encounter with beauty, experiencing truth in an easy way, Martineck said. 
                  He sees it as a wake up call for God, the Gospel and “Theology of the Body.”
                  “I hope this is a turning point in peoples’ lives, an encounter with the Holy Spirit,” he said. 
                  “Garden” has a cast of 14 that has been rehearsing since November 2016, but more than 45 individuals, Catholics and non-Catholics, alike, have helped in the production. The play runs approximately two hours with an intermission.
                  “It’s an incredible collaboration with professional choreography, musicians and stage managers – all through connections that God has provided for us,” Martineck said. “It has inspired the cast to be more loving, patient and kind.”
                  Butler plans to have Garden published and is excited to see where the Lord takes his message through this play, which he sees as a “celebration of the joy and glory of human love.”
                  “We’re grateful to see it come to life and on the impact it will have on those who see it,” Butler said. “It clearly points to the origins of that love, and ultimately it brings us back to the divine heart that is pumping all the blood into the body of human love in a way that is beautiful and fun (through theater).”
                  Christine Bordelon can be reached at cbordelon@clarionherald.org.
 
GARDEN, THE MUSICAL
► What: Full-stage musical play written by seminarian Joey Martineck as a beautiful retelling of the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. It incorporates music by duo Greg & Lizzy.
► When: March 16-17, 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 6:45 p.m.; March 18, 8 p.m. (doors open at 7:15 p.m.); March 19, 2 p.m. (doors open at 1:15 p.m.) 
Tickets: General admission: $20; Reserved seating: $27; Premiere seating in first two rows: $37.                  
➤  Other: Special program for area Catholic school students with prayer, an introduction to St. John Paul II’s vision of art and Q&A with cast and director on March 17, 10:30 a.m. Tickets are $10.
➤  Details:  DumbOxMinistries.com/garden; 304-1280.                                          

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