EDMOND—The story of a prophet-king relationship was portrayed in song and dance for 766 guests at Armstrong Auditorium on Aug. 12, 2018, with Undefeated—The Story of Isaiah and Hezekiah.
The musical was presented by Philadelphia Church of God members, Herbert W. Armstrong College students and Imperial Academy students, in association with the Maguire Academy of Irish Dance and the Carey Academies of Irish Dance. The musical’s composer, music director Ryan Malone, played Isaiah; his wife, Paula, played Isaiah’s wife, Mark Jenkins played Hezekiah, and Mr. Joel Hilliker played Sennacherib. Rehearsals for the 79-member cast began in early June.
Pastor General Gerald Flurry commissioned the performance in a sermon on March 10, 2018, that discussed the discovery of clay seals belonging to Hezekiah and Isaiah. Archaeologist Eilat Mazar had announced her discovery of the Hezekiah bulla on Dec. 2, 2015, and her discovery of the Isaiah bulla on Feb. 22, 2018. Mr. Flurry called for another performance of The Book of Isaiah, which showed at Armstrong Auditorium between Jan. 1-4, 2015, but adjusted to focus even more on the relationship between the two leaders.
Mr. Malone adjusted the roles and some lyrics to accommodate this request, emphasizing King Hezekiah’s need for the Prophet Isaiah’s counsel, which enabled God to speak to him and carry out His will to protect Jerusalem.
Many of the guests were members of the public, and many were inspired to attend after visiting the Seals of Isaiah and King Hezekiah Discovered exhibit, following its opening on June 10. The exhibit displays the bullae of Isaiah and Hezekiah, along with 36 arrowheads, sling stones, pottery and other artifacts from the conflict between Assyria and Israel. The exhibit, located in the auditorium lobby, has attracted more than 6,500 visitors to date.