JANUARY 2014

 
CRISIS: EDITOR – TONY JASPER. Copy is welcome, but no payment is offered. Email: a.jasper1@virginmedia.com
 
1 Back-dated:
.Jasper under question, Dorothy Sayers.
2 Books to be read: Nadia Bolz Weber , Paul Kerensa. 
3 Jesus Music – Plumb.
4 Contemporary Music
 

BACK DATED

CRISIS 15 BRINGS BACK TO LIFE SOME MATERIAL
FROM 2013 THAT HAS N0T FOUND ITS OUTLET ON THIS ONLINE MAGAZINE. THE MATERIAL IS BY OR ABOUT THE EDITOR TONY JASPER.
 

 

FROM EA MAG

Culture Footprint Tony Jasper – Arts/Media

Biographical details
Professions, hobbies, study, quirky fact
Bachelors and Master’s in theology, education London, Oxford, American University Washington DC and Virginia Theological Seminary, Alexandria, drama  and education Diplomas. Founder Jasperian Theatre Company and writer of innumerable plays and as an actor, radio and television broadcasting religious and pop,: Director of the Arts Centre Group, administrator of its Jack Clemo Poetry Award and now a new Drama Competition..
 
What did you want to become when you were a child?
A preacher I would study books on preachers and their sermons and would preach them to my cat Twinkles. I am assuming Twinkles came forward at the appropriate moment!
 
How did you become involved with broadcasting?
I produced a book that took people from a pop song lyric into Scripture – it was then very novel and different. It attracted the interest of The Times and a considerable piece was run about it. This attracted BBC Schools and Peggy Bacon who was the original producer of Children’s Hour and was then in charge of Fourth Dimension and material for BBC World service. I also met a dynamic producer called Roy Trevivian. It began to flow and very much so. I also met David Winter, among others, but someone I have stayed in touch with.
 
What’s the best program you have been involved with?
That is so hard to answer for each and every moment has its possibilities. I would choose series for Radio 4 under their Seeds of Faith umbrella, many times Celebration Rock for Radio Hallam, and it was a joy to work for BFBS. And there were moments for BBC schools under Ralph Rolls.
 
What do you enjoy in playwriting?
‘Enjoy’ is a difficult word – playwriting means day after day thinking what has been is pretty poor and so revising and revising but trying to keep the inner spark that was hopefully there at the beginning! The enjoyment and blessing really comes from performance of words. Sometimes an actor can so treat your script that you think ‘that sounds good!” and of course in the end it is how it is taken by a live audience. However I’m sure I am not alone in thinking that some better scripts do not get recognition.
 
Is creativity caught, learned, laboured, or is it genetic?
Oh, what a question! Some things are yes there, as for instance I once when younger had a very good relationship with ball games. I just could play tennis, not withstanding hours of practice. There is a craft and style to be learnt, always in my mind though a desire to do something that appears different! Theatre and performance has its on disciplines and style. Lots of labour yes, creativity comes and just comes, suddenly you write, at other times one should give up and do something other and return later. Observation of people, hearing people is important. Into this mix as a Christian must be an awareness of biblical teaching/
 
(How) has faith shaped your acting career?
Faith is central and central and central!  I do launch off many of the great biblical themes. 
 
Best story ever told?
Apart from the Christian story, not sure what this means. 
 
What is your vision for the arts?
Assaulting and confronting, energising and growing in people’s lives, letting loose ways and means for us to focus on the so many gift God has given, to enable people to laugh and cry together, walk together, dream and pray together, and above all celebrate the great visual of faith of ‘bread and wine.’ 
 
What makes you angry?
I am a  perturbed that people make the Bible so holy and treat it so reverently that they fail to notice the excitement of say the gospel writers to proclaim the Good News in the midst of all things we encounter in our lives.
Innocently perhaps trivialising  - so for instance talking to children about say Martin Luther King and his famous speech and sating that lots of people want to do good, and that is that. So ignoring the pain and suffering of deprived people, ignoring how some people are pushed aside or treated unjustly, how the dream of his came from situation but also from a deep faith rooted in the suffering cries of Scripture and ultimately in Christ’s own crucifixion and that it means. In other words escaping depth, skating the surface becomes it seems pleasant to do so and it does not disturb or upset .
 
Some of the hard  sayings of Jesus get set aside because we want a faith that it tidy and nice.
 
I get angry at things not being prepared, so I take a service and obviously the readers of lessons have done cursory work on the text. In theatre, in media, you learn high standards which is not to say that I am not guilty sometimes and I soon learnt about it!
 
What would you do with a million quid?
Apart from the basic needs of humankind in so many places and situations, but keeping to the overall brief of this series of questions, it would be to set loose so much creativity that is out there but lacking real backing, and to bring new life and vitality into the Christian cause. Unfortunately the great problems for so many of humankind need more than a million but why are Governments so unconcerned and tinkering at the edges?
 
During the Second World War, Winston Churchill’s finance minister said Britain should cut arts funding to support the war effort. Churchill’s response: “Then what are we fighting for?”
 
So how are we doing in this time of cuts?
It would seem poorly. Feeding the soul, growing our lives seems obviously so important but is one of the areas often savaged either by Government, even arts agencies or within the mainstream Christian areas.
 
Tell us a joke
A young Jewish boy tells his mother he has got a part in the school play. His mum asks him what is the part. He says he is playing a dad. His mum says to him “Next time get a speaking part.”