reviving one of humanity’s great art forms

The Academy of Sacred Drama seeks to revive one of humanity’s great art forms present in rituals, in liturgy, and on stage: the sacred drama. By doing so, we intend to restore the genre as a vehicle for the formation of common values, community and individual identity, and creative virtue. The Academy approaches this task as a membership organization of volunteers, supporters, and professionals dedicated to research, education, and the performance of sacred drama.

The Academy of Sacred Drama’s 2019–2020 season features the work of Antonio Gianettini (1648–1721): the once-celebrated composer of Baroque oratorio and opera whose name is now almost entirely forgotten in the world of music. It also marks the Academy’s first Westchester season with performances at the Church House at White Plains Presbyterian Church. The Academy continues its residency at Calvary—St. George’s Episcopal Church in New York City and will perform at other churches in New York City and Connecticut.

Exploring sacred drama as a membership organization has inspired unusually ambitious projects such as the production of an open license journal devoted to sacred drama. Articles relating to the context and content of these works have been published with Creative Commons licenses enabling a broad distribution. This innovative approach will be applied to the libretti and editions of our new editions and translations.

Baroque sacred drama draws from the stores of the Judeo-Christian tradition and combines them with poetic verse and classical references. Much of the genre has yet to be explored. Future seasons will widen the scope of the exploration of sacred drama from the Baroque era to Greek theater, Medieval miracle plays, Classical oratorio, and contemporary compositions. The Academy will also explore the place of drama within and outside of Christian liturgies.

The Academy is a not-for-profit corporation in the State of New York and is federally recognized as a tax exempt public charity under IRC Section 501 (c) (3). Donations are tax deductible.

Become a Member

Explore the world of sacred drama as a member of the Academy of Sacred Drama! All memberships include tickets to public performances, $15 discounts to oratorios and salons for up to two friends, invitations to receptions for you and your invited friends, and a subscription to the Sacred Drama Journal. We’re looking forward to you joining our community!

Oratorio Membership

$150 Individual $65 tax deductible
$250 Dual $90 tax deductible
Membership includes general admission to the season’s three ticketed performances.

Patron Membership

$300 Individual $155 tax deductible
$450 Dual $170 tax deductible
Membership includes premium admission to the season’s three ticketed performances and invitations to open rehearsals.

Benefactor Membership

$500 Individual $350 tax deductible
$650 Dual $365 tax deductible
Membership includes a signed poster from the season’s musicians, and all the perks of a Patron Membership.

Sacred Drama Journal

Yale Schola Cantorum Performs Heinrich Schütz’s Weihnachts-Historie

By Christopher Browner The superbly talented singers of Yale Schola Cantorum, Yale Institute of Music’s chamber choir for the performance of sacred music, were still in the holiday spirit on January 27, 2018, when they offered a radiant performance of Heinrich Schütz’s Weihnachts-Historie (Christmas Story), SWV 435 to a packed audience at New Haven’s Christ …