‘Jesus’ and ‘Mary’ actors climb bridge to envision WYD Stations route

Sydney, Australia, Jun 22, 2008 / 03:49 pm (CNA) .- Alfio Stuto and Maria Dixon, the actors who will play Jesus and Mary in World Youth Day 2008’s Stations of the Cross, on Friday climbed the Sydney Harbor Bridge with BridgeClimb Sydney to observe the route of the Stations from a “bird’s-eye view.”

BridgeClimb Sydney, an official provider for World Youth Day 2008, is a business that provides public access to the catwalks and ladders of the Sydney Harbor Bridge, according to its website.

“The Sydney Harbour Bridge provides a great vantage point to witness the Stations of the Cross and other World Youth Day events as they happen around Sydney’s harbour,” said BridgeClimb’s Managing Director Todd Coates.

The two actors were joined on the bridge climb by the young Sydney priest and World Youth Day spokesman Father Mark Podesta. Both actors for the event have been rehearsing with 100 fellow cast members over the past few months.

“The world will be mesmerized by this beautiful depiction of Christ’s Passion, played out across some of Sydney’s famous landmarks,” Father Podesta said.

The Stations of the Cross will be performed on Friday, July 18 at six major Sydney-area locations. The Stations will begin at St. Mary’s Cathedral with the first Station, the Last Supper. There, Pope Benedict XVI will offer a prayer and remarks to begin the commemoration.

The second Station, the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, will take place at the Domain, a large open space near Sydney. The performance will proceed to the Art Gallery of New South Wales and then the Sydney Opera House.

The seventh Station, in which Jesus is helped by Simon of Cyrene, will take place on board a floating pontoon in Darling Harbor.

The remaining Stations will be performed on stages in Barangaroo, a waterfront district.

Pilgrims will be allocated spots at the various performance sites except the Art Gallery. The general public will be able to see the re-enactment at Darling Harbor.

Crowds will not be allowed to follow the actors, but can remain at a site to watch the proceedings live on large screens as they wait for the performance to arrive at their venue.

The World Youth Day Stations of the Cross will be directed by Father Franco Cavarra, while the sets are designed by Michael-Scott Mitchell, who designed the cauldron used for the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

The event’s music will include pieces from Mozart and indigenous artists, with pieces for stations eight and three composed by Anne Boyd and Father Geoffrey Abdullah, respectively. Costumes will be designed by Jamie Lynch.

The World Youth Day event will take place from July 15 to July 20.