Issaquah Press, Letter to the Editor:
‘Heaven’s Balcony’ a unique presentation of the founder of Christian Science
“In this season’s recent ‘Festival of New Musicals,’ Village Theatre presented the life of Mary Baker Eddy in the workshop reading of ‘Heaven’s Balcony.’ I attended the reading and want to thank Village Theatre and authors Jerry Taylor and David Spangler for developing this unique presentation.
Mrs. Eddy was a significant religious leader in America. She was the discoverer of Christian Science and the lost element of early Christian healing. She authored ‘Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures’ and founded the Church of Christ, Scientist. She started the award-winning newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor. She did all of this at a time when women had few of the rights available today. Portraying the accomplishments of such a complex woman in a two-act musical is a monumental task and I applaud and support the authors in their attempt to do so.
Unfortunately, the reading presented an inaccurate picture of Mrs. Eddy. Her inspiration for ‘Science and Health’ came from her deep study of the Bible and not from her brief assocation with Phineas Quimby. The reading also falsely presented her as a medium and clairvoyant and failed to present her record of effective spiritual healing.
In her book, ‘Miscellaneous Writings,’ she writes, ‘The false report that I have appropriated other people’s manuscripts in my works has been met and answered legally. Both in private and public life, and especially through my teachings, it is well known that I am not a spiritualist, a pantheist or prayerless.’ I met with Taylor after the reading and was grateful to hear his admiration and respect for Mrs. Eddy. He expressed a sincere desire to present her life and accomplishments accurately and noted that they will continue to work toward that goal.
For those who would like to learn more about her life and achievements, local Christian Science reading rooms have her writings and numerous biographies. Additional information can also be found at the Web site of the Mary Baker Eddy Library for the Betterment of Humanity at www.marybakereddylibrary.com.”
William Scott Kenmore