Fire in the Temple

by Glen Williamson
directed by John McManus

Playwright, performers and audience speak about Fire in the Temple.

A full-scale–­­­production tour
with a full cast of twelve actors and eurythmists
is scheduled to premiere

with seven performances
in September, 2023, in NY and PA.

This will only be possible
with your donation,

which will be DOUBLED!

Now you can double your impact!

We are very pleased to announce that we have been offered a one-for-one challenge grant of $20,000 from an anonymous donor who wishes to acknowledge this momentous 100th anniversary of a year when so much – seen and unseen – happened for our anthroposophical movement.

Every dollar or $100 or $1,000 you donate, beginning February 22, will be matched – dollar for dollar – up to $20,000.

Rudolf Steiner
Rudolf Steiner

Crafted from actual events and discourse, Fire in the Temple, dramatizes Rudolf Steiner’s final months and brings to the stage the people around him, including two extraordinary women, Marie Steiner von Sivers and Dr. Ita Wegman, both of whom stood by him until the very day of his death – and beyond. Their personal conflicts, hopes and sorrows are sensitively portrayed in this rigorously researched drama.

Marie Steiner von Sivers
Marie Steiner von Sivers
Ita Wegman, MD
Sea-Anna Vasilas and Laurie Portocarrero

Switzerland, 1923. Spiritual teacher and clairvoyant Rudolf Steiner works to waken people to hidden realities. Religious and political enemies oppose him, and his pupils struggle to grasp their task. But ancient memories and faithful friendships persist.

Goetheanum, 1922
Goetheanum in ruins, January 1, 1923
January 14, 2023, Pasadena, California.

Laurie Portocarrero and Glen Williamson, with eurythmists Sea-Anna Vasilas and Zachary Dolphin, have been developing this play – through numerous revisions and staged readings – for several years. Now director John McManus will stage a full production, with a full cast, in September, 2023, in Copake and Spring Valley, NY, and in Kimberton Hills, PA, testing whether a wider tour is warranted. The director and playwright have been tightening the script to make it a dynamic performance. December and January readings of the script in Copake, NY; Beaver Run, PA; Los Angeles; Santa Cruz; Sacramento; Boulder and Denver have drawn profound and encouraging responses and anticipation of the full production.

Please help create this historic centennial achievement. Ticket sales can only cover about fifteen percent of the costs. Our professional cast and crew will be giving up their everyday employment to devote themselves one hundred percent to this worthy task for several weeks, and they deserve appropriate compensation. Your donation will also help fund their travel, housing and meals, as well as original music, sets, costumes, lighting and sound. (Your donations are tax deductible to the full extent permitted by law.) Thanks to the kind generosity of many enthusiastic donors, we have already raised over $40,000, more than a third of what we need through donations, in order to inspire audiences, cover our expenses and modestly pay the performers. Can you help? We need a few more who can contribute $10,000, $20,000 or $30,000. Twelve people have already joined our $1,000 Club – with just twelve more we will reach our target of $24,000. And donations of any size can help us meet our remaining crowdfunding goal of $9,700.

Thank you for supporting our vision and being a part of this extraordinary undertaking. Any amount you give will help us achieve our goal.

Mail donation checks, payable to “Lemniscate Arts Inc,” to
Fire in the Temple,
C/O Debra Agee  
7970 James Court
Niwot, CO 80503

Or use any debit or credit card, or your Paypal Account. Our “support Fire in the Temple” button is easy to use.

Lemniscate Arts Inc, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation founded to support the performing arts that arise from the work of Rudolf Steiner, is acting as the fiscal agent for Fire in the Temple production.

  • Seven performances are scheduled for September 15 – 24:
  • Friday, Saturday, Sunday, September 15, 16, 17 in Fountain Hall, Camphill USA, Copake , NY
  • Wednesday, September 20 in Rose Hall, Camphill Kimberton Hills
  • Friday and Saturday, September 22 and 23 in Threefold Auditorium, Spring Valley, NY
  • Sunday, September 24 in Fountain Hall, Camphill USA, Copake, NY

Members of the ensemble

Rudolf Steiner – Peter Josephson
Marie Steiner – Laurie Portocarrero
Ita Wegman – Karen Holmes
Fräulein Samwaller, “Sam” – Sea-Anna Vasilas
Edith Maryon – Faith DiVecchio
Ehrenfried Pfeiffer – Liam McGilligan
Albert Steffen – Michael Morley 
Günther Wachsmuth – Christian Peterson
Elisabeth Vreede – Cate Decker
Grand Master – Marke Levene
Secret Brother – Vincent Roppolo
Archangel Micha-el – Zachary Dolphin

Painting by David Newbatt

and production team

Debra Agee
Ann-Elizabeth Barnes
Charlie Burkam
Barbara Renold
Barbara Richardson
Glen Williamson

Patrick Doyle
Sharon Inglis
David Johnson
John McManus

Audience responses to Fire in the Temple

“—meticulously researched
—artistically crafted
—stunningly performed
. . . a powerful feeling for the weaving of destiny.”

  – Gloria Kemp, Waldorf-education consultant

“Truly amazing. I sat mesmerized. . . [it] was so full and the images captivating. I am still feeling the effects from it. . . beautiful experience. It will be with me for some time!!!” 

Diane Prusha, Actress,
Shakespeare & Company, Lenox, MA 

“It was deeply moving…wonderfully written…and the same questions live today… With tears I’m asking: Will we awake?”

                         – Irena Valujeva, Camphill USA

“True and compassionate writing.”

“I knew all of this, but this play brings it all together in a vivid and moving story.”

“The message, that Christ’s light combats the forces of darkness, comes through loud and clear.”

“Now I feel I’ve really met Rudolf Steiner.”

“Truly redemptive.”

“This needs to be seen.”

and from our team . . .

“It is an extraordinary play that has been enthusiastically received as an epic of superb storytelling during its numerous two- and four-person play-reading performances over the past three years. Now, our task is to turn this successful play-reading epic into a dramatic piece of theater with a full ensemble cast.”
     – John McManus, Director

“I believe that artistic activity, through this play, can greatly enhance our experience of these momentous historical events and relationships.”
     – Barbara Renold, Director and Producer
of Rudolf Steiner’s Mystery Dramas

Your contribution will help us to:

  • Feed a performer for a day of rehearsal: $20
  • Rent a wheelchair for Marie Steiner for one week: $250
  • Fly an actor from England: $500
  • Compose the music: $1,000
  • Pay, house and feed a principal actor for 6 1/2 weeks: $4,765

Funding documents