We spoke with Freddie Tate, who is playing Jesus of Nazareth. Freddie talked to us about his faith, Jesus the human being, asking tough questions, and the pressures of such an iconic character.
1) Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Freddie Tate and I am from San Angelo, TX. That’s right, I’m a Texan with no defining accent. I have been blessed and have had the opportunity to act here in Tulsa for the past 12 years. After Judas, I will be heading out to LA. God willing.
2) Who are you playing in the show?
I am playing Jesus Christ.
3) What initially drew you to the show?
The title and story are what first drew me to this play.
4) Tell us a little about your character?
Jesus Christ. The man, many do not know. What I like most about Jesus is that he is a bold man. Unafraid. Not at all the man many people are taught he is. I hope to portray him as a compassionate parent.
5) What have your challenges been in approaching this script?
This part is challenging in regards to what I know of Christ (biblically), vs some of the questions of Christ raised in this play. The play raises so many thought provoking questions that are all answered, but many people are still searching for. I’ve always been a fan of questioning how we run our lives, but the subjects here may be tough for some. I don’t agree with a lot of the text here and my challenge is pushing that aside in order to be true to the play.
6) What is the most important message of the show to you?
I don’t know if there is one particular message. I think having the “whole” discussion, is important.
7) What do you think audiences can expect from this show?
I would hope that audiences are opened up to the discussion of faith. I’m hoping that the audience walks away changed. The show is that powerful.
8) What’s your faith background? How has that affected your approach to this show?
Good one. I know the Word of God. I came into the show knowing this. I only know God from God, not the stories of how it all came about. That has affected me in the approach I have on playing Christ. I’m still working on it now, but my first question to the Directors was (Do you want the “TV” Jesus or the Biblical one).
9) What would you say to someone who is debating whether or not to come see the show?
Come! Come, BECAUSE you’re debating it. The play is presented in a way that it deals with all the questions you probably already have. The show is not preachy in one way OR the other.
10) This show is funny and moving. What do you hope people will come away with?
I’m hoping that people walk away with a passion to look further. For those who may disagree with the play I’d say…(there is more of who you are in this play than anything). We ask these questions all the time. We speak this way all the time. This play asks questions, offers possibilities yet nothing more than we’ve all asked before. Again, it’s a powerful play but it is not preachy.