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ALTARCATIONS press release

May 24, 2012

LOS ANGELES,CA (May 21, 2012) – At the corner of faith and justice, a Catholic bishop’s power alters the course of life for a troubled priest, his naïve and faithful protégé, and the woman who may have all the true power.  KPCC radio host and playwright/director Steve Julian’s 2012 Hollywood Fringe Festival play Altarcationsconfronts abuse at the hands of priests who often are guarded by a powerful Byzantine boys club.

Lust, power, religion, and piety come to the fore in Altarcations, which pulls from real life stories to reveal the alarmingly darker nature of the church, its hypocrisy in shielding abusive priests, and the wisdom of redemption.  Do we really need to see the Catholic church’s underbelly, especially when we’re inundated by new stories of priest abuse?  Julian believes we do.

“I was fortunate during twelve years of Protestant and Catholic parochial schools. I was never abused. But I met many victims when I was a police officer and I hear of many more these days as a journalist. Is abuse so systemic that it cannot stop?”

Julian adds, “The church is as complex an organization as any. It’s composed of many personalities, inspired by wide ranging motives, and stands accused of failing to step out from its protective past to embrace a future that’s safe for all congregants. Change may come from the top, but not everyone at the parish level is willing to wait.”

A cast of four, Altarcations proved troubling for two actors in particular. “When I first read the play I was really angry,” explains Dylan Jones (Rachel). “I told my husband that I hated it, but I hated it for all the right reasons. It terrifies me. But I still had to say yes to doing it.”

Robert Keasler portrays the priest, Father Bart. “A switch flipped when I first read it. It terrifies me too but I auditioned knowing that I had to play this part.”

The cast of Altarcations features Travis Michael Holder (AEA, SAG-AFTRA) as Bishop Michael; Robert Keasler (SAG-AFTRA) as Father Bart; Dylan Jones (SAG-AFTRA) as Rachel ; and introducing Drew Hellenthal as Tommy. Jeff Gardner (sound design, AEA, SAG-AFTRA), Jen Schwartz (composer), Dave Lieberman (Latin tutor). Steve Julian directs.

Altarcations is a project of the Pasadena Arts Council’s EMERGE Fiscal Sponsorship Program.


Altarcations – Playwright/director Steve Julian wrestles with the Catholic church priest abuse scandal in present day America. A bishop. A priest. A woman. A boy. Taken from today’s headlines.

Actors Circle Theatre, 7313 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood 90046.


  • Performances: June 8 through June 24:
  • Fridays at 5pm
  • Sundays at 4pm


TICKETS: $10 previews (June 8, 10); $15 thereafter.



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