The men of Mitchell bring ‘The Last Supper’ to life


Photo by Ian Chini.
Posey Howell (center) has played the part of John for the last three performances that Mitchell’s Presbyterian Church has held over the years. Pictured to his left is Jeremy Tidmon playing the part of Judas and to his right Warren Gallahan who plays Jesus.


Started in 1994 by Rev. Charles Spreight, Mitchell’s Presbyterian Church has carried on a tradition that continues to garner attention and admiration.

For the sixth time, they will present a dramatization of The Last Supper based on a play by Ernest Emurian.

“We all to some degree have let Jesus down,” said Rev. John Grotz describing the program that includes each player (disciple) asking the question, “Lord, is it I?”

When told by Jesus that one would betray him they did not point fingers but became sorrowful and immediately looked inward.

We know that ultimately Judas is the betrayer but each of his faithful followers questions their loyalty and commitment.

Visually, the Italian frescoes at the church provide the perfect background. Their costuming and the table settings mirror Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous painting of the same theme.

Colors are vibrant and rich, characterizations are practiced and soulful and the re-enactment is added to with music and worship.

“There is a tremendous amount of work that goes into this,” said Grotz who gives much of the credit to Janet Miller who takes pride in setting the stage for the players.

“She’s a perfectionist,” added Grotz, “it looks like Da Vinci’s last supper.”

While not all Maundy Thursday church services offer communion, Mitchell’s does. “We will all partake in the Lord’s supper after the performance,” said Grotz.

Offered every five years, past years have seen record crowds and Grotz expects that the small church will be packed again.

The production lasts about an hour with Grotz reciting the poem, “Lord, is it I?” at the end.

If you go:

The Living Last Supper

Mitchell’s Presbyterian Church

Thursday, April 13

7 p.m.


About Anita Sherman 145 Articles
Anita Sherman is the editor of the Culpeper Times. You may reach her at