Philemon - PLOT

Off-Broadway revival in 1991
Philemon the Musical - PLOT SYNOPSIS

Set in the city of Antioch (in the Roman Empire) during the third century, the Roman army has been ordered to hunt and kill all Christians. Marcus Gallerius, the commander of the Roman garrison hires a desperate street performer, Cockian, to impersonate the Christian priest Philemon, so that he may lure the true leader of the Christian underground. Cockian at first is unwilling to assume this role, but once his freedom is promised for carrying out this task, he agrees. The role is simple enough - living in a jail cell and intercepting any secret messages that may come through. Cockian meets Andos, a seemingly young prisoner who is responsible for seeing to Philemon's needs. But soon, the relationship between Andos and Cockian grows as the latter begins to see in him his deceased son. Cockian begins to realize that he identifies more and more with the values promulgated by Christianity. By the end of the play, when Cockian is given the chance to escape, he denies and instead attempts to make the Commander see the world in a new light, and embrace the values of love and freedom for all that he has come to appreciate. The Commander soon realizes that Cockian has transformed, and that while he had initially only been playing the role of Philemon, that he has now become Philemon, and when given the choice between life as Cockian or death as the Christian leader, Philemon chooses to die as a martyr.

Other Songs: Philemon the Musical Songs Lyrics
Synopsis Philemon the Musical Plot

Philemon the Musical Lyrics

Within This Empty Space
He's Coming / Antioch Prison
The Greatest of These