Celebrating John Paul II

October 25, 2011

HOUSTON — The John Paul II Forum from the University of St. Thomas aims to educate and promote the wisdom of Pope John Paul II with the production of his seminal theatrical work, “The Jeweler’s Shop.”

Houston native and graduate of the Loyola University of New Orleans’ Theatre Arts program, Guy Schaafs, will direct the upcoming production. Schaafs is best known in Houston for being an active member of the local improv scene and was a member of Chicago’s famed “The Second City” comedy school. John Paul II and his work have been an interest of Schaaf’s since he happened to find himself living in Europe at the time of the Pope’s death. 

“Because of that, I started reading about him and his plays specifically,” said Schaafs. “I just fell in love with his writing.” 

He was approached by Dr. John Hittinger, the director of the forum and a professor and acting chair of the Philosophy Department at UST. Hittinger had always wanted to produce one of the late Pope’s plays and felt the timing was just right. 

“In May John Paul was beatified and with The Jeweler’s Shop recently having its 50th anniversary, we wanted to celebrate,” said Dr. Hittinger.

The production will be held Nov. 4 through Nov. 6. Performances will take place at Obsidian Art Space, a new arts venue and blackbox theater located in the historic Houston Heights. 

The John Paul II Forum aims to promote the understanding of the thought of Pope John Paul II and to develop his legacy as it forms and equips the Church for the new evangelization. Tickets are available online at www.jp2forum.org. †