Divine Gesture posits biblical episodes of joy, loss, betrayal, jealously and alienation in the corridors of American High School Life, circa now, through unassuming vérité wherein young adults – not unlike early man – passionately grapple with timeless themes, in that pressure cooker known as adolescence. If one would, imagine “My So Called Life” set in biblical times… I maintained a pared-down approach to facilitate my subjects’ immersion into character. As they made the leap from cosmically put-upon contemporary teenager, to (for example) the woesome Job during impromptu performances of these vignettes, it was quickly manifest how directly the often-baroque tales with universal themes spoke to the crushing defeats and the soaring heights that characterize any teenager’s life; at times, something resembling their inner-monologue can be found in these bible stories which they’d been absorbing their entire young lives as modern orthodox students constantly navigating the liminal differences between strict religious subculture and larger, mainstream mores. It was also refreshing to see these sophisticated teenagers exhibit a surprisingly playful enthusiasm. Whether the students selected or were assigned the dramatis personae, the goal was to keep these sacred stories of epic personages on a contemporary, human scale. So Moses is not depicted in heroic proportion; instead, he’s a precocious adolescent ridiculed by his peers; four young women elected to portray the Four Sons of Passover; Vashti’s Blemish was fortuitously captured on a day when my subject had a wondrous pimple. You could say that Divine Gesture is for me, a small "e" existential task – both my entire student life and subsequent teaching career have occurred within the hallways of this school, which makes for an almost daily “Freaky Friday” component; a sense of my own role-reversal – from student to teacher – through the looking glass. Watching my students responding to the grit, the glory, and the soap opera intrigue, I revisited my own adolescence, remembering how I worked and where I fit – and didn’t fit – within the group.