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Pope Play: Tom Attea's 'Benedictus' Heads Off-Broadway

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POPE PLAY
In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Friday, March 1, 2013, then Pope Benedict XVI, delivers his last blessing from the window of the pontiff's summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, near Rome, after arriving from the Vatican, the last day of his pontificate, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013. Benedict XVI left the Catholic Church in unprecedented limbo Thursday as he became the first pope in 600 years to resign, capping a tearful day of farewells that included an extraordin | AP

NEW YORK — The debut of Tom Attea's new play is likely to benefit from some holy timing – he's written a play about a pope resigning.

The off-Broadway company Theater for the New City said Friday it will produce Attea's "Benedictus," a play written two years about a pope who steps down.

It is slated to run from May 30 to June 16 at the company's home in lower Manhattan. Mark Mercante will direct the production with incidental music by Arthur Abrams.

According to producers, the play is about the fictional Pope Benedictus, who has visions that command him to follow a new calling. Top cardinals must then decide what to do with him.

Attea, a playwright and lyricist, has had eight musicals and one play produced off-Broadway.

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Online: http://www.theaterforthenewcity.net