This work was developed collaboratively based on the poem “The Dream of the Rood.” The performance is enlivened by composed and improvised instrumental and vocal music, theatrical interpretation and newly written prose and poetry in modern English. These elements were created individually and generated cooperatively by the group under the artistic direction of Karel Suchy. The original poem presented Christian themes in a manner that would be accessible and interesting to the reader of its time. Our current work strives to accomplish this today.

“The Dream of the Rood” is an early English dream poem about the tree (rood) which became Christ’s cross. The main section is written from the perspective of the tree. A version of the poem is depicted on the Ruthwell Cross, which was carved from stone in the seventh century. The Vercelli Book dated from the tenth century contains the poem in Old English. Heroic elements, depicting Christ and the tree as warrior figures, are prevalent. These would have appealed to the culture of that time. The sacred symbolism of the tree would have been familiar for new Christian converts from paganism.

Creators/Performers: John Bloner, Jr., Jamie Burch, Gary Dennison, Rev. Nancy Eggert, Win Germanotta, Carol Larsen, Jennifer Lautz, Brent Mitchell, James Schatzman, Julia Suchy, Karel Suchy
Handbells: Mason Black, Rachel Brown, Linda Cayemberg, Cody Dupuis, Martha Hunt, Karen Larson, Susan Renquist

  • The Dream of the Rood Collaboratively developed devotional performance
  • Presented on Good Friday 2013 in the community service held at Siena Center, Racine.
  • Based on Early English Dream Poem The Dream of the Rood depicted on the Ruthwell Cross dating to the seventh century.