ARTHUR: THE BEGETTING
“[Arthur: The Begetting is] a play that rewards the close-listening it requires with a wealth of beautifully crafted and elegant language. The emotions are raw and unbridled, often starkly emphatic, but never simple or one-dimensional…a mature, complex, and engaging drama…THIS WAS A GREAT EVENING IN THE THEATRE.” — Jerry Kraft, TheatreSeattle.com
“[Arthur: The Begetting] is suspenseful, romantic, and darkly medieval. More impressive yet is the fact that, as a prequel, the play gives no indication of feeling inferior; it is what it is—a minor myth and happy to be. –Richard Morin, Seattle Weekly
ARTHUR: THE BEGETTING is the first play in THE ARTHUR CYCLE, a cycle of plays based on the legends of King Arthur. ARTHUR: THE BEGETTING is the story of Emrys and Igraine, a young king and queen who carry a vision for a new Britain, a vision of a new, unified nation under the rule of a divinely chosen High King. The story is set in motion by a vicious assassination and the ensuing scramble for power. There are three rivals for the throne, all connected intimately to Queen Igraine: Emrys of Powys, her former lover; Terynon of Cornwall, her husband; and Uther of Gwynedd, a Celtic King she knows only from her dreams. In the midst of brute politics and brewing war, Emrys and Igraine desperately vie to make their vision into reality, but in the end, their attempts to hold on to love have unforeseen results, propelling them all down an inescapable path that culminates in a tragic beginning of Arthur’s life.
ARTHUR: THE HUNT
“Not only is this a complex historical drama, but it attempts to explore the infinitely greater questions of how our earthly endeavors connect to the higher powers of destiny and spiritual imperative. Berryman’s language dares an almost Shakespearean grace and eloquence, and his characters all bear the weight of great historical forces, overpowering passions and desires, and lives lived “…on the edges. Lonely places”. — Jerry Kraft, Aisle Say (Seattle).
ARTHUR: THE HUNT continues the The Arthur Cycle. 490 AD, A solitary young woman searches for the man who holds her destiny, an aging ruler with knowledge of the future searches for a child who was lost in the wars nearly twenty years ago. The war-torn land is in desperate need of a High-King. Where is Arthur? “The Hunt” is an epic tale: equal parts grand adventure, love story, history, tragedy, and myth.
THE CARROLLS OF QUEEN ANNE
THE CARROLLS OF QUEEN ANNE: A VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS TALE OF OLD SEATTLE: It is Christmas 1889, and Mr. Christopher Carroll, flush with new wealth, is in need of a new cook for a socially important Christmas dinner in his large mansion on the slopes of old Queen Anne Town. Henry, an enterprising young black chef of backbone and skill whose restaurant was destroyed in the great Seattle fire of that same year, reluctantly takes the post, and runs headlong into a rich and diverse cast of domestics anxious to join to join their families for a brief holiday respite from the rigors of service. Reminiscent of Upstairs, Downstairs, The Carrolls of Queen Anne is an enchanting tale of laughter and music combining the spirits of Seattle and Christmas to create a rich holiday treat.
ReGroup: Training Groups to Be Groups
Dr. Henry Cloud, Bill Donohue, John Townsend
A training video targeting small group dynamics produced by Zondervan and The Willow Creek Association. I wrote and directed actors in 20+ short dramas of a small group in action.
Hiring, Firing, and Board Meltdowns
Training Video in Leadership Development
Featuring Bill Hybels, Carly Fiorini, Dr. Henry Cloud, Patrick Lencioni, and Dr. David Ireland.
Prolifik Films and The Willow Creek Association, 2009.
I wrote and directed actors in 3 dramas related to poor hiring, poor firing, and a believably terrible church board meeting.
“Jeff Berryman has taken an evangelical preacher, and turned him into the most unexpected thing: a human being. A remarkable first novel.” –Annie Dillard, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and Holy the Firm.
“. . . an exuberant romp through the territory of the spirit that has as many laughs as moments when it pulls at the heart. LEAVING RUIN embraces the life of the religious and lets it sing with humor, pathos and, ultimately, true significance.” –Albert Haley, author of Home Ground: Stories of Two Families and the Land, and Exotic: A Novel, winner of the John Irving First Novel Prize.
“Cyrus Manning is a compelling character not because of his physical appearance (completely bald) or his rhetorical skills (cannot boil a sermon down to three points) or his rigid moral scrupulousness (has a temper, occasionally swears, and admits to lust), but because he earnestly tries to seek God and serve his fellow Christians in spite of it all.” —Jeremy Lott, Christianity Today
Loreen is her name–the old woman in the angel costume who accosts Cyrus Manning near the dance floor of the Down Under. A gift is coming, she tells him. “The gift to die for.”
For Eleven years Cyrus has pastored First Church of Ruin, a small city deep in the barrens of West Texas. He has come upon hard times. His congregation doesn’t want him anymore, and he is questioning not only his call but his very identity.
And God is quiet.
In this richly textured novel, Jeff Berryman enters the world of the small town congregation, revealing its natural wonders, its natural cruelties, and, here and there, breathtaking moments of unnatural grace.