Perpetua's Diary - A Musical for the Persecuted Church
Why a musical on Christian martyrdom?
Because musicals attract the public, entertain, and draw people into narratives.
Because we have stories to tell about Christian faith, courage and endurance.
Because the killing of Christians is increasing in our world and we need to understand how high the price can be for many of our fellow believers.
Perpetua's Diary is based upon the true narrative of six Christians who were killed by the Roman state in 203AD. One of them, an educated 22-year-old married Roman woman named Perpetua, wrote a prison diary before she was killed and that document has been treasured by the church ever since. It is the astonishing historic voice of an astonishingly courageous woman from the early church and a story of faith under attack, of ruthless oppression defied, of spiritual visions of the future life, of baptism and the Lord's Supper under prison conditions and of triumph over brutality.
This resource is being offered as a gift to churches and Christian theatre companies who wish to raise awareness of the ever-recurring reality of persecution and martyrdom. In our time over 7000 Christians a year are being killed because they will not renounce Christ. Long ago other sisters and brothers faced the same choices. We need to honour them, to draw strength from their witness, and to present their narratives widely.
"Perpetua's Diary" keeps close to the original narrative, features the famous Carthaginian theologian Tertullian as the narrator, and contains twenty-one original songs and five dream/dance sequences. The music has been set for a keyboard for use in smaller settings but has provision for full orchestration. Although written for community or professional theatres it could be adapted for presentation in churches, indeed a large church could be an ideal setting.
The writer and composers are resident in New Zealand and the writer, the Rev Dr Don Battley, is available for consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to access the files for full score and script for Perpetua’s Diary
This script and score are offered pro bono to Christian churches and Christian theatre groups as a vehicle for Christian ministry.
Professional groups wishing to use these resources should contact Don Battley at email@example.com to arrange royalties.
Script © Don Battley 2017
Song "Praise to God Creator of the Heavens" © Eleanor Battley 1978
Music © Rosie Hamilton 2017
Arrangements © Kari Fedde 2017