Historic Photos

Fourth Generation American Passion Play, 1961

February 16th, 2016

The American Passion Play, staged right here in Bloomington, is the nation’s oldest such staging of the story of Christ. The former Scottish Rite Consistory Temple (now the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts) serves as the play’s traditional home.

Seen here is five-year-old John Aldridge during a rehearsal about two weeks before the 1961 season gets underway on March 26. John’s role was to serve as one of the many costumed extras in crowd scenes. His parents Jack and Carol Aldridge (presumably the couple pictured here) were also Passion Play performers.

And appearing in previous seasons were both his grandmother and great-grandfather. In fact, John’s great-grandfather, John H. Coupe, appeared in the inaugural performance dating back to 1923. He played one of the thieves on the cross.

Bill Kemp


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