Holy Fool Arts
We are a theatrical production company fusing earth-centered spirituality with the biblical prophetic tradition while drawing on the ancient yet perennial power of art and ceremony to facilitate the healing work of communal grief, struggle, and defiant joy.
Our past work includes:
- Caravan – the traveling work of Holy Fool Arts’ founders, Tevyn East and Jay Beck as educators, worship leaders, and performers of theopoetic theater;
- Leaps & Bounds – a one-woman show that exposes the environmental and social costs of our growth-oriented economy;
- BEAST – a blues-infused music project that unearths the significance of wild nature within the Judeo-Christian tradition; and
- The Carnival de Resistance – a traveling arts carnival, education initiative, and eco-village demonstration project.
In the spring of 2021, Holy Fool Arts was commissioned by the UCC department of Faith Education, Innovation and Formation to create four liturgical films for their 33rd national Synod. You can watch them here!
Our collaborators made these possible! We brought in Zap McConnel to direct the film shots. Jarrett Heatherly and Marthame Sanders from Heat Sand Productions handled the Photography and Sound. Samuel Lockridge joined and contributed his original music. Aaron Strumpel edited the sound. Jason Chesnut of ANKOSfilms edited the video. None of this would have been possible without the production oversight of Rev. Tracy Howe, UCC Minister for Congregational and Community Engagement
Holy Fool Arts Publications
Ivan the Fool and Three Shorter Tales for Living Peaceably: The four classic tales in this volume illuminate Leo Tolstoy’s radical orientation toward war and commerce, revealing his vision for a sustainable, peaceable world. The feature story, Ivan the Fool, presents an archetypal fool who works hard, cooperates with everyone, and manages to foil every attempt to cause his downfall. In the end, peasant life comes out on top, while the pillars of imperial Russian society topple down. Esarhaddon, King of Assyria explores a king’s empathy-based revelation to end all violence; and A Grain as Big as a Hen’s Egg playfully looks at the relationship between health, soil, labor, and food economies. Three Questions sums up Tolstoy’s highest ideal of serving others in the present moment. Some may critique these stories as being too simplistic or too moralistic. But these tales have stood the test of time precisely because they entertain well while evoking universal truths that lift us above humanity’s self-serving impulses.
A Secret Gift Outside The Door: A Secret Gift Outside the Door is a collection of spoken words from Dr. James Perkinson, who performed them on Sundays at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Detroit, Michigan during the first full year of the Trump Presidency. Perkinson is a professor, theologian and activist in Detroit. He blends the biblical text with critical race theory and wisdom from Black, Indigenous and Immigrant peoples.
Watershed Discipleship: This collection introduces and explores “watershed discipleship” as a critical, contextual, and constructive approach to ecological theology and practice, and features emerging voices from a generation that has grown up under the shadow of climate catastrophe. Watershed Discipleship is a “triple entendre” that recognizes we are in a watershed historical moment of crisis, focuses on our intrinsically bioregional locus as followers of Jesus, and urges us to become disciples of our watersheds. Bibliographic framing essays by Myers trace his journey into a bioregionalist Christian faith and practice and offer reflections on incarnational theology, hermeneutics, and ecclesiology. The essays feature more than a dozen activists, educators, and practitioners under the age of forty, whose work and witness attest to a growing movement of resistance and reimagination across North America. This anthology overviews the bioregional paradigm and its theological and political significance for local sustainability, restorative justice, and spiritual renewal. Contributors reread both biblical texts and churchly practices (such as mission, baptism, and liturgy) through the lens of “re-place-ment.” Herein is a comprehensive and engaged call for a “Transition church” that can help turn our history around toward environmental resiliency and social justice, by passionate advocates on the front lines of watershed discipleship.