“Maximilian: Saint of Auschwitz,” the professional live production that tells the dramatic story of one man who stood up to the evil forces of Nazism, holds a powerfully relevant message for our culture, at a time when religious freedom and values are under attack. Starring well-known actor and producer Leonardo Defilippis, this one-man drama will be presented at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, at Annunciation Church, 7580 Clinton St., Elma.
The drama poignantly illustrates the life of Maximilian Kolbe, a Polish Catholic priest whose courage in the face of attacks against his Catholic faith led to his imprisonment in the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II. He was forced into slave labor, tortured and finally came forward to take the place of a married man who was condemned to death by starvation.
“Maximilian: Saint of Auschwitz” is a riveting production, featuring the polished skills of a talented actor who switches characters and costumes with a speed and believability that amazes audiences. The drama includes technological artistry in the form of a majestic orchestral soundtrack, professional lighting and a video backdrop that sets the story in a historical yet relevant context.
“We live in an exciting, challenging time, and we need heroes to show us the way we should live in an increasingly secular world,” said Defilippis. An audience member after a recent performance agreed. “The compelling images, combined with Leonardo’s impressive performance, made me realize this was a real man of our modern age who actually lived and died for another person. It gives me the courage to live my faith no matter what happens.”
Defilippis is best known for directing and starring in the feature film “Thérèse,” which generated a phenomenal grassroots success during its year-long run in theaters. As founder and president of Saint Luke Productions, Defilippis has for 31 years produced numerous one-man and one-woman plays on the lives of the saints and the Gospels, and has created feature films, television and radio/Internet programming, including the popular Benedictus Moments which is broadcast daily. His live production “Vianney on Saint John Vianney” toured the country extensively in celebration of the recent Year for Priests.
This fall, “Maximilian: Saint of Auschwitz” will be touring in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Missouri, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, Texas, Washington and Oregon. Additional tours are forming for California and Michigan in 2013.
“Maximilian: Saint of Auschwitz” is an inspiring dramatic portrayal not to be missed, filled with all the elements of professional theater yet striking in its simplicity. The production runs 90 minutes and is suitable for ages 10 and up. Admission is a suggested offering of $10 for adults and $20 per family. For more information, please contact Deborah Keenan at the Annunciation Parish Office at 683-5254 or visit www.annunciation.cc. For more information about Saint Luke Productions, visit www.stlukeproductions.com.