One-man show brings the Passion to life

DeKALB – Actor Leonardo Defilippis of Saint Luke Productions brings his unique one-man performance of “The Passion According to Saint Luke” to Northern Illinois University at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 16. The production will be held in the Sandburg Auditorium of the Holmes Student Center.

Unlike pageant-style productions or films on Christ’s Passion, in which realism is the goal,
Defilippis’ performance relies on the power of the Gospel to penetrate the heart of the audience. The script is taken word-for-word from the Gospel of Luke, and is enhanced by a beautiful set, lights and original music.

The actor uses only a few simple props and a cape to recreate the story of Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the Last Supper, his betrayal by Judas Iscariot, his anguished night in the Garden of Gethsemane, his death on the cross, and finally his resurrection from the dead.

Defilippis believes the simplicity of the production enhances the experience.

“Everyone has a personal image of Jesus in his mind. I felt that if I tried for realism, I would always fall short,” he said.

“By merely suggesting the setting and characters surrounding these profound events, focus is directed towards an interior encounter with Jesus himself.  My job is to get out of the way, so that the Holy Spirit can touch souls. It is a very humbling experience.”

Defilippis is a master of the one-man performance, and is also known for directing and starring in the feature film “Thérèse,” which generated a phenomenal grassroots success during its year-long run in theaters.

In addition to being the founder and president of Saint Luke Productions, Defilippis’ production staff has branched out to create feature films, television and radio programming.

“So often we struggle to focus on the reality of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus,” Defilippis said. “We are so familiar with the story that we lose sight of the immensity of the miracle.”

‘The Passion According to St. Luke’

7 p.m. Saturday, March 16

Sandburg Auditorium

Holmes Student Center, Northern Illinois University

Adults $10, 18 and younger $5

Buy tickets at or the St. Mary DeKalb parish office. For information, call 815-758-5432 or email

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