Dramatic Works

Given below are synopses of the translated dramatic works that come from the (Polish) pen of Karol Wojtyla / John Paul II. 

Not all are currently available for production by our company, but we're working on it!


JOB:  A Drama from the Old Testament

Written in 1940, this play dramatizes the biblical story while also introducing new characters and developing others more fully.  Written at a time when the author's country, and the world, were stricken by the suffering of war, it champions the messianic tradition of Polish literature.  The drama introduces a significant religious theme, which Wojtyla would later explore as pope in his apostolic letter "Salvifici Doloris" (on the Christian meaning of suffering).

  • The Book of Job is not the last word on this subject [of suffering] in Revelation.  In a certain way it is a foretelling of the Passion of Christ. ... Love is also the fullest source of the answer to the question of the meaning of suffering.  This answer has been given by God to man in the Cross of Jesus Christ.

JEREMIAH:  A National Drama

Also written in 1940, this play explore the cultural history of Poland.  With themes both historical (the fall and rebirth of a nation) and biblical (the carrying out of the covenant), the drama reveals the "inner theater" of the playwright's contemplation of life situated between the ideal and the real.  The conclusion to this though he would reveal in a letter written shortly after completing this work: 

  • Everything is the working of Grace, everything can be the working of Grace; one should know how, and above all want, to cooperate.  [from The Collected Plays & Writings on Theater, p. 91]


The play, written in 1949 and filmed in 1997 as "Brother of Our God," offers a meditation on poverty and suffering as told in the story of St. Albert Chmielowski (1845-1916).  A well-known artist in Krakow, and later founder of the religious order of the Albertines, he believed that the great calamity of our time is that so many refuse to see and relieve the sufferings of other because of the interpersonal gap between the "haves" and the "have nots." Like the play's protagonist, Wojtyla would also grapple with "overcoming the artist in himself" in order to devote himself to the religious mission of living his life for the sake of others.

THE JEWELER'S SHOP:  A Meditation on the Sacrament of Matrimony

This three-act play explores fundamental human concerns about love through the experiences of three couples whose lives are intertwined:  How do we know we are in love? Will our love last? Is it real? What happens if loves withers?

The subject has no easy answers!  Yet the play offers astonishing insight into the complex nature of mankind. Filled with the wisdom of the Spirit and Faith, this work guides men and women through the mysterious and unstable emotions that we all experience.

Written in 1960, the play was produced as a movie, starring Burt Lancaster, in 1989.

► Read a detailed synopsis by Ellen Rice from Catholic Dossier magazine


Written in 1964, this play champions the importance of relationships that give meaning to human existence.  Through the creative interaction of persons, modeled on the divine interaction of Father, Son, and Spirit that is the Trinity, we come to understand both God and ourselves.  Fatherhood is that creative power that enables us to be and to grasp who we are.

For the sake of true human fatherhood in this world, as David Blankenhorn summarizes the play, this means that "men must seek to let the perfect paternity of God the Father radiate through the frail man, understanding that the human father is genuinely authoritative only to the degree that he himself is under authority, recognizing himself as God's obedient son.

  •  "Love is always a choice and is always born by choice.  ... Giving birth this way through perpetual choice, we give birth to love."



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