Arts festival in memory of First Baptist pastor to premiere new play

The First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland will hold an arts festival Nov. 13–22 in memory of Senior Pastor Martin Rolfs Massaglia, who died in February 2014. The festival will take place at the church, 3630 Fairmount Blvd., and celebrates Massaglia's lifelong devotion to the arts.

The event will feature the world premiere of “What Remains,” a new play by Max Bush, a freelance playwright and director whose plays are widely produced on professional, educational and amateur stages across the country. Bush and Massaglia were collaborating on the play at the time of Massaglia's death.

The play is about the unlikely relationship and ensuing discoveries between a talented young artist named Maggie, who is trying to plan her future after high school, and an elderly woman who hires Maggie to sort through the objects of the woman's life.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 13, and Saturday, Nov 14; and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 15. Tickets cost $12 for adults, and $10 for students and senior citizens. To reserve tickets, call 216-932-7480 or visit

The festival continues on Sunday, Nov. 22, with the dedication of three works of art: an installation of Christ Rising, a bronze sculpture that was a favorite of Massaglia, by Frederick Hart, the late master stonecutter of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.; a banner crafted by Massaglia's wife, Kay Rolfs Massaglia, featuring his traditional benediction; and a portrait of Massaglia painted by Cleveland Heights artist Jerome White.

The contemporary and traditional worship services on Nov. 22 will be combined into a single service at 10 a.m., featuring performances by the various musical groups that comprise the First Baptist Church’s music program under Music Director and Organist Robert Schneider. All are welcome at the service, which will include a performace of Leonard Bernstein's choral work, Chichester Psalms.


Bob Rosenbaum

Cleveland Heights resident Bob Rosenbaum is co-chairman of the Heights Observer Advisory Committee, and is responsible for its advertising sales and market development.

Read More on A & E News
Volume 8, Issue 11, Posted 3:56 PM, 10.30.2015