301 First Street NW
Mount Vernon, IA 52314
Worship Sunday at 9:30 am
Writer/performer Joe Jennison will bring his one-man show “Confessions of a Gay Catholic” to the First Presbyterian Church of Mount Vernon, 301/309 First Street NW, Mount Vernon, on Sunday, April 22 at 2 p.m.
The play is a series of true stories that track Jennison’s relationship with the Catholic Church, from his earliest memories as a 7-year-old until today. The play ultimately details his reconciliation with the church after 32 years away. The play will be followed by a brief talkback and reception with the actor/writer.
Despite feeling ostracized by the very church he was baptized in, Jennison continues to attend and advocate for the church he loves. He is the director of the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group. “Confessions of a Gay Catholic” is his 25th and most personal play to date.
“In 2011, I had a supernatural experience while attending confession,” said Jennison of his one-man show. “And I started to realize that my own personal story and struggle with my faith and my church is far more interesting than any fictional story I’ve ever written. These stories I tell are personal and true and are written and performed with honesty and love.”
“I saw Joe’s play performed recently at Theatre Cedar Rapids,” said church pastor Lori Wunder. “And I was so moved and honored that this new piece was built from the little piece he did as part of our Living Into Our Vision series that I just had to invite him back.”
Jennison has been writing and performing plays since 1985. His play “A Beautiful Man” was voted Best Play and Best Comedy at the 2003 San Francisco Fringe Festival. He also won the Dean Goodman Award for Best Play that same year. Some titles of his plays include “The Night I Kissed Osama bin Laden,” “Twinsburg,” “Cedar Rapids Famous” and “My Five Husbands,” and have been performed in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Minneapolis. “Confessions of a Gay Catholic” was featured most recently in the Theatre Cedar Rapids Underground Play Festival.
The First Presbyterian Church of Mount Vernon is pleased to welcome Jennison to the church, an earlier and shorter version of this play, titled “Jesus in the Confessional,” was performed in the church in 2014.
The event is free and open to the public. A goodwill offering will be taken at the performance.