ABOUT

Philosophy

We believe the performing arts are not a luxury; they are essential for the betterment of human understanding. A monologue can alter a belief, a dance can touch a soul, and a performance can transform a perception of the world. The arts are a necessity because they inspire individuals to reach unattainable goals, connect with a higher power, and realize their dreams.

Mission Statement

Our Mission, as a ministry of the First United Methodist Church of Hammond, Indiana, is to provide an outlet for expressing both the sacred and the secular in the ever-unfolding divine plan of life; to nurture, support, and educate one another in encountering our brothers and sisters with whom we share in the panorama of an ever-changing world.

Board of Directors

The 2019-2020 Board of Directors includes:​

  • President - Antoinette J Alessio-Gomez

  • Vice President - Shannon Hayes

  • Treasurer - Chong Choe

  • Recording Secretary - Bridget Barnett Choe

  • Corresponding Secretary - Katie Isaacs

  • Members at Large:

    • Alissa Fernandez

    • Barb Tompulis

    • Dale Downs

    • Elaine Alessio

    • Gary J. Mion

    • Hermine M. Robinson

    • Pat Pohrte

    • Ryan Scott Graan

    • Ray Huntington

    • Jerald Jascoviak

  • Senior Lead Pastor of First United Methodist Church Hammond (ex officio Board Member) -- Mary Van Wijk

Memberships

The Genesius Guild, as a community theatre, is a member in good standing of the Northwest Indiana Excellence in Theatre Foundation (NIETF) and continues to seek other ways to reach out to the community and present excellent entertainment and artistic enrichment opportunities.

History

The Genesius Guild is a community theatre troupe and community outreach ministry of the First United Methodist Church based in Hammond, Indiana, utilizing the Fellowship Hall facility. The Guild was founded in 1984 as an outgrowth of the summer Vacation Bible School at First United Methodist Church. Our name is taken from Saint Genesius, the Patron Saint of Actors (see below).

 

Since its founding over 35 years ago by then Associate Pastor James Evans and many of the church members and local community, the Guild has produced dozens of plays and musicals, providing award-winning theatre to Hammond and its neighboring communities at the church facility as well as other venues such as the Center for Performing Arts in Munster. A typical Genesius Guild season may include a major musical, a non-musical (“straight play”), a children's/youth play and an alternative production.

 

The Guild, though hosted by the church, is not exclusive to members of the church, and reaches out to the community - all are welcome to participate. All that is required is a passion for the arts and a willingness to volunteer – be it on stage acting, back stage on technical elements of the theatre, or even helping to staff the box office or greet guests as an usher. General Board Meetings are held at 7 PM (CST) on the fourth Tuesday of each month at First United Methodist Church in Conference Room 1. Auditions are regularly announced via this website, social media platforms, program announcements, and on the webpage of The Northwest Indiana Excellence in Theatre Foundation (NIETF).

About Our Namesake, St. Genesius...

Though the Methodist Church does not recognize saints in the same manner as other Christian denominations, the church recognizes their importance as examples of faith in action. The Patron Saint of Theatre in the Catholic tradition is St. Genesius of Rome.   03 A.D. - Emperor Diocletian, the last and greatest of the Roman Empire’s persecutors of Christians, came to Rome and was given a festive welcome. Part of the celebration was a play. Genesius, the producer and comedian, had thought that the emperor would be pleased by a play mocking the martyrdom of a follower of Christ. In preparation for the skit, Genesius decided to make fun of the Christian baptism ceremonies. This would amuse the people who held religion in contempt. At the start of the play Genesius lay down on the stage as if sick. Two other actors asked what ailed him. Genesius said he felt a great weight that he wanted removed. Hence, two other actors, dressed as a priest and exorcist, were called in. They asked what the star wanted. He replied, “A baptism.” There upon, he said, he saw a vision of angels bearing a book with all his sins inscribed. The actor portraying the priest asked him: “My child, why did you send for me?” According to legend, Genesius was suddenly converted by divine inspiration and asked to be baptized himself onstage. The Emperor was enraged, and ordered Genesius to be beaten and tortured. Clinging to his newfound faith, he refused to recant. In the midst of his pain, Genesius kept crying out that he would cling to his baptism even if it meant suffering a thousand deaths. Finally, the Emperor ordered his head to be cut off. For his martyrdom, Genesius was bestowed as the patron of actors. Those who observe Saints Days celebrate his martyrdom every August 25th.  Learn more of his life, and why our organization carries his name, by visiting https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genesius_of_Rome

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