“Kingdom Come” is a musical about peoples recollections of and responses to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 told in a lighthearted way. The musical was presented by Concordia University, St. Paul’s department of music, theater and dance. “Kingdom Come” was written by Matthew Webster. His approach to the events of 9/11 was poetic, for he was able to take the audience on an emotional roller-coaster through songs and beautiful story telling. The musical began with the mass choir singing the title song “Kingdom Come,” and the main character taking her place on a raised platform. Now, what’s different about “Kingdom Come” is that it is not performed in a traditional theater setting. It was performed in a black-box, which is a stage that takes up a whole room, so the audience was on stage with the actors and actresses. The set was built so that the audience sat in stadium seating of three rows on all four sides of the room, and in the middle was center stage. The main character sat at the same height as the third row of the audience over looking center stage. The setting of the musical could be interpreted as heaven, and very little is known about the main character. Throughout the musical the main character interviews approximately 10 people about the experiences and memories from September 11, 2001. As each interviewee shares their memories, the audience learns that everyone was affected in a different way, but all were affected nonetheless. During the final scene the audience learns the main character worked in one of the World Trade Centers and was killed in the attacks, and also that the pianist’s character is God-like, for in the last scene the main character and the pianist interact and have a convocation that leads the audience the believe the pianist had been the one to arrange the interviews. I was able to interpret the big picture of the musical by the end, and that is the main character who was killed in the 9/11 attacks cannot make peace with what had happened. So, God tries to help her by sharing the memories of others with her so that she may understand that her death did have meaning; even though it may have been painful and heart breaking there was beautiful to emerge from 9/11, and that is a new understanding of “kingdom come, God’s will be done.”
The musical relates to the focus of the Honors Course this semester, scholarship and learning for the sake of the world, because the events that took place on September 11, 2001 did not affect the United Stated alone, just as an individuals university education does not affect them alone. The focus in Honors this semester is to learn how to be a Christian in today’s society, which is teaching us how to see God working in every aspect of our lives. And on September 11, 2001 God did not go silent. His voice grew louder because it needed to. It was not God’s will for the United States to be attacked, but it was His will for people to slow down in their busy lives and realize how one event can affect the world, because we are all interconnected. And it is God’s will for Christians to have the faith to be the light during dark times such as 9/11.
Seeing “Kingdom Come” helped put into perspective the events of 9/11 for me because I was not even two years old when the terrorists attacked, so I have no recollection of that day. However, my Mom does; she saw the second tower get hit on the news while sitting in her office on the Naval Base of Damn Neck in Virginia Beach, VA. From my understanding, there were rumors that Norfolk and Virginia Beach, VA where also targets on 9/11 because they were along the east coast and just as close to Washington D.C. as New York. Watching the musical put me in my mom’s perspective, especially during a scene when one of the interviewees was talking to her father on the phone, because I know my grandpa loves my mom very much and I can image they had a conversation very similar to that of the one in the musical. So, it was up to my mom to have the faith to be the light to my brother and me during 9/11, because shortly after 9/11 my dad was deployed to the middle east as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, which was in response to the 9/11 attacks. My mom had no way of ensuring my dad would come back alive; all she had was faith. 9/11 taught Christians to have faith in a God who loves us.