The Invitation

A Play in Four Movements

In a world where killing is sport, war is entertainment, and betrayal is common, how do we make peace?  THE INVITATION, a play in four movements created by Dr. Barbara O’Guinn Condron of the School of Metaphysics, answers this question.  In an effort to illustrate that “peace is achieved by those who fulfill their part of a greater plan”, this play allows you to sit with outstanding people who understood profoundly how “world peace begins within ourselves”.  Albert Schweitzer, Linus Pauling, Martin Luther King Jr., Betty Williams, Mother Theresa, Alva Myrdal, the Dalai Lama, and Shirin Ebadi, recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize over a 60-year span of time, discuss the Universal Peace Covenant through the words of their acceptance speeches, engaging the audience to realize that “peace is first a state of mind”.

The 90-minute artistic performance begins with an 18-minute movie, Lives Worth Examining, produced by original cast members, all SOM teachers and students.  The documentary-styled film provides insight into each laureate, their hopes and fears, challenges and triumphs, setting the stage for what is to come.  It is as if these people come alive before our eyes.  In THE INVITATION, different genders, races, ages, religions, political affiliations, and passions stand together as citizens of the Earth, providing the living example of peace-filled understanding for the world at large.  The play concludes with a call to action as the laureates take the Universal Peace Covenant into the audience, offering each one an invitation to live a life worth examining.

Experience The Invitation Through the Eyes of the Cast

Albert Schweitzer

When I was offered the opportunity to understudy Albert Schweitzer for the Invitation, I immediately said yes.  I knew I would grow and expand in many ways by stretching myself beyond my comfort zone.  Albert Schweitzer was a musician, philosopher, theologian, humanitarian, physician and a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.   His life of service was guided by his principle of Reverence for Life.  Albert Schweitzer is an amazing example of gratitude, compassion for his fellow man and dedication to continue his work in spite of many hardships.

By studying and portraying Albert Schweitzer and striving to embody these virtues that he lived every day, I know that I have become a better person.  His life has become an ideal for me that has aided me to rise up when I feel challenged.  It has been an honor and a privilege to bring Albert Schweitzer to the world through the Invitation and I am thrilled to be able to continue that at the Parliament of the World’s Religions this October.  Thank you for your assistance in making that happen.

Brian Kraichely, Dr. Albert Schweitzer

Linus Pauling

Portraying Linus Pauling in The Invitation has been far more impactful than I ever could have imagined.  Originally I thought we would find a kinship in our similar scientific backgrounds.  As I studied (and later embodied) Dr. Pauling I came to realize what a remarkable opportunity it was.  To align myself with someone who spent his entire life working toward bettering the world is a bold undertaking.

When he achieved a level of mastery in chemistry (marked by a Nobel Prize in the field), Linus went on to do it again with a peace movement, and then again in health.  He was willing to give everything he had along the way, which many times included his reputation and always included his limitations.  To hold such a world server in my mind and heart through this play has been humbling to say the least!  As I’ve learned to see the world through “Linus Pauling’s eyes” I’ve realized that there is so much opportunity to serve humanity in every moment, and it’s up to me to heed that call!
Brenton Harris, Dr. Linus Pauling
Betty Williams

Betty Williams is a woman who had a powerful drive and an unshakeable sense of personal responsibility.  She has a reverence for life that was shaken to the core when 3 children died in her arms after being struck by a car during a shooting in her neighborhood.  Shaken with anger, she used her energy and determination to rally 10,000 women in a peace march within a week’s time.  As her neighbors watched the war in Northern Ireland tear their society apart, she rose to the challenge and stood up for the change that she knew needed to happen.  The peace movement she initiated still lives on today.

For four years, I have been embodying her heart, her mind, and her choices.  I often wonder how she would respond to situations before I make a choice.  I know she had courage, passion and a strong sense of what is Right that becomes more profound every time I give a performance.  My words are hers and I have the honor of sharing her voice with the world. Betty Williams is my example of Self trust, personal power, and responsibility to humanity.
Leah Morris, Betty Williams
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Making a difference and living with more of a full expression of life, is what the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. means to a lot of people. To me, he has grown to be a friend. Someone I can count on. I feel very connected to him. I grew up in Wynnewood, OK. A very small town north of Norman. In the first years of grade school, there were KKK marches down main street. I experience a great deal of emotion, portraying Martin, in this play. My whole world is made to be an uplifting and encouraging experience of growing to know the power of my influence.  People often ask me questions, ” What do you think of what’s going on in Baltimore”, or “What do you think about what happened to Tamir Rice?” I always have a different answer and it often leads to them saying, ” We need a new Martin Luther King!”  A Leader. Someone who people listen to, lest we forget.  I honor his message. I honor his life. The work we have done together, continues to carry the flame.

Terrence Bellows, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Alva Myrdal

The opportunity to be a part of The Invitation has been life changing, awakening, and has revealed the reality of living and creating a peaceful life.  Peace is not just something these laureates talk about, they truly embody Peace and show us that it can be our reality if we so choose.  Portraying Alva Myrdal has caused significant strides of growth in my consciousness.  Though many do not know who she is, Alva Myrdal has accomplished wonderful things in her life. She was a Swedish educator and diplomat, she was a driving force in the creation of the Swedish welfare state, as well as a voice for housing and schooling problems, and after the Second World War is when Alva delved into her studies and work with disarmament. I have learned from her with determination, effort, and intelligence that I can create whatever I desire in my life.  I have learned through her that I must think deeply and precisely.  That I am to overcome any fears I might have of what others will think of my thoughts regarding Peace and what is ethical and right in the world- “It does not just happen.” as Alva once said.  She has taught me that giving up for what I desire in myself and humanity is not acceptable.  We are here for a much greater reason.  I am so thankful to bring Alva Myrdal to the world through The Invitation so that others get to meet this wonderful person and to find that peace, contentment, security within them selves.

Sydney Kasner, Alva Myrdal

Mother Teresa

I am honored to bring the message of Mother Teresa through the venue of “The Invitation”.  Through studying the stories, life of service and Godly consciousness of Mother Teresa, my own consciousness has been purifying and uplifted, which I am enterally grateful for.  She saw that each person has a light within them and she not only sought to teach others how to nurture and respond to that light, she also lived this message faithfully and was a true example of endless love to humanity.  Her message to the world was simple and extraordinarily profound:  Love heals all.  She loved the sick, the dying, the abandoned, the forgotten and tended to them with devotion.  Having, myself, come from a broken family, this message helped me to heal from feelings of neglect and abandonment and embrace a greater view of my purpose in this world.  She has taught me to uplift my own spirit and add love into my life through faithful prayer and through cleansing myself daily in service to others.  I hope to bring this same gift to those who see this play, so they might consider this message and integrate it into their own spiritual quest.

Emily Ashley, Mother Teresa

H. H. the Dalai Lama

I have seen His Holiness the fourteenth Dalai Lama speak publicly twice in my life.  Once in Madison, WI and in Louisville, KY.  When he walked out on stage in Madison the entire congregation became completely silent and reverent.  There wasn’t a single sound in the audience it was like an instant wave of peace.  I thought to myself how can one person have such an effect on so many people at one time.  I began to admire the Dalai Lama more after attending the teachings in Madison.  He was so full of joy and when he spoke, he spoke with authority.  His genuine and heartfelt words moved through me and touched me at my core numerous times during this experience.  After reading about his life story I was amazed at how strong, resilient and understanding he is, even when he was young too.  I wanted to know how?  How he has such a love for all mankind.  I became very curious how this man could have such humbleness and compassion.  We are all the same human beings he says and we share the same planet earth.  His message of a universal responsibility for each other as well as the environment we live in is important for us all regardless of race, religion, nationality or social status.  This message is for everyone and I am very grateful to embody such a man and bring this imperiance to this years Parliament of the World’s Religions.

Walter Hrycaj, H. H. the 14th Dalai Lama

Shirin Ebadi

I was born and raised in Iran and therefore Shirin Ebadi and I have very much in common. I remember the years were we had to hide in the basement or underneath the kitchen table so that we would be safe from the bombing that happened in our city. Many people left Iran because it was too hard to deal with all the issues that came from living in a country in which humans beings rights were not understood or respected. They called it the brain drain. I admire and respect Shirin Ebadi because she was one of the few that stayed. She was and is courageous and is willing to fight for the truth. I admire her strength, her love and her dedication to the people of Iran and her on going quest for justice. I am honored to portray her in this play and to spread her message of equality, human rights and justice for all!

Golbahar Dadyan, Shirin Ebadi

Narrator

The narrator is responsible for beginning the play, for setting the stage for the main characters.  I see the narrator as a symbol, an identity who’s shoes anyone can step in to.  The narrator could be anyone, of any age, from any walk of life.  Someone who has the fortune to meet these laureates and the inspiration to bring them together.  My goal as the narrator is to provide a bridge between the audience and the laureates, helping them to come to a better understanding of the struggles and triumphs of these men and women.

The History of THE INVITATION

Explore the Play's Origins, Cast Members, and Performances

View Past and Present Performances

 The Nobel Peace Prize Laureates meet in the Peace Dome every year to discuss peace, then present their message somewhere in the world. 

~  Parliament of the World’s Religions Salt Lake City, Utah  2015  ~
Cardinal Ritter Prep School St. Louis, Missouri 2014 Chicagoland Premieres  2013  ~  Louisville, Kentucky 2012
   ~   Dallas, Texas 2011
   ~   Melbourne, Australia 2009
     ~    Chicago, Illinois 2008
 Indianapolis, Indiana 2007  ~
and annual performances in the Peace Dome since 2002

Experience The Invitation First Hand

Our dream is to bring these Nobel Peace Prize Laureates to life, all around the world, through The Invitation. We expect that in the time to come, thespians of all ages will discover the transformative power brought through portraying these individuals. With an emphasis on teenage and young adults, we feel this play that began in the world’s Peace Dome on the campus of the College of Metaphysics will find a natural home in the theaters of colleges and high schools around the world.

Click Here to Download the Educational Rights Application

 

The Educational Rights Package give your school or group permission to perform the play as many times as you desire for the period of five years. The packages includes a dozen scripts, two copies of The Invitation DVD, and 12 copies of PeaceMaking: 9 Steps for Changing yourself, your Relationships, and Your World, a book about the creation of The Invitation. For a consulting fee, arrangements can be made for a cast member to work with your production.

 

The Educational Rights Package is $800.00 and grants unlimited production to educational and service institutes for a period of five years.