top of page

Beatitudes was a work-in-progress song cycle musical that didn't quite have the wingspan to get off the ground at the time of its conception. It was centered around the Beatitudes: the eight blessings of Jesus recorded in the Bible under Matthew 5:3-12, which is the passage of Christian scripture that opens what is commonly known as the Sermon on the Mount.  The entire song cycle takes place in a support group setting, where each of the eight characters—who represent either people Jesus encountered during his lifetime or people from parables he told, and who each correspond to one of the eight beatitudes—talk through a relevant experience they have had and, in doing so, ultimately discover the true meaning of their respective blessing. The idea behind this work was not to further some Christian agenda; rather, it was to elaborate upon the deeper meanings of Jesus’ eight blessings and demonstrate how they may be translated into the world we live in today as we seek to live a loving, people-oriented life, irrespective of religion.


Written in Fall 2022, the casting and recording process of the concept album got underway in Spring 2023, only to screech to a halt when my university's theatre season became too busy to allow for proper recording time and space. Below, however, are pictures of the original cast in the recording studio, alongside descriptions of the characters they played.



Sosuo Anigboro as: JUSTINE

Justine is based on the Parable of the Persistent Widow, who was a woman who demanded over and over again that an unjust judge grant her justice against her adversary.

Bryan Dieken as: PENCE

Pence is based on the Biblical story of the woman who put two coins, which was everything she had, into an offering plate.

Isaiah White as: THERAPIST

The Therapist is the only character in Beatitudes who is not based on a parable of Jesus or someone with whom Jesus interacted. Rather, he serves as a counselor to the other eight characters as they express their stories in their modern-day, support-group-type setting.


Jessica Winters as: ROSE

Rose is based on the Biblical story of the woman who poured perfume on Jesus as an offering.

Ainsley Sasportas as: CORA

Cora is based on the Biblical story of the woman who touched Jesus’ cloak and was healed from twelve years of internal bleeding.

Shelby Black as: JUDY

Judy is based on the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Judy speaks as the man who was robbed and left for dead on the side of the road, then passed over by everyone except a Samaritan man who was considered an enemy.

Tiah Guthrie as: GRACE

Grace is based on the Parable of the Prodigal Son. They tell the story from the point of view of the prodigal son’s brother, who was upset that the prodigal son was welcomed back home so readily after running off and squandering his inheritance.

Jacky Heavner (not pictured) as: ZARA

Zara is based on the story of Zacchaeus, the tax collector who climbed into a tree to see Jesus over a crowd.

Rica DeBarba as: NICOLA

Nicola is based on the man named Nicodemus, who, according to Biblical account, once asked Jesus how to be reborn again, and who also assisted in preparing the body of Jesus for burial after Jesus’ death.

bottom of page