‘Behold the Lamb’ stamps post-COVID phase of Alapaha Easter Passion Play

Jeremy Roberts
5 min readApr 1, 2022
Photography by Jeremy Roberts

The 26th edition of the Alapaha Easter Passion Play that perpetually packs the rafters of the Hwy. 82 gym in Alapaha, Ga., debuted in glorious Technicolor one week prior to Easter. The magnum opus of the late Marian Dixon was sidelined by COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021.

Entitled “Behold the Lamb,” the volunteer-driven community play warmly received 300 patrons and consisted of approximately 70 non-denominational cast, choir, and crew members united in chronicling the oft-tension-fueled final days of Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry according to New Testament scripture. Various participants hold claim to current high school and college students who were unwittingly cast as actors during infancy.

Scenes faithfully recreated during the vivid drama-cantata include the Son of God’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, his miraculous healing power, synagogue ruler Jarius’ daughter being raised from the dead, the Lord’s Supper, Jesus praying to his Heavenly Father for leadership in the Garden of Gethsemane, Judas Iscariot’s incomprehensible betrayal, Jesus’s crucifixion alongside two thieves of dissonant repentance, and Christ’s burial, resurrection, and ultimate ascension to Heaven enlivened with eight contemporary and traditional songs performed by a live 24-member choir directed by Alice Bochenko. Elvis Presley’s “Who Am I?” and contemporary Christian collective Bethel Music’s “Raise a Hallelujah” featured soloists Valerie Horten, Tim Meeks, and Grace Flanders.

“Behold the Lamb” was a true homecoming for Bochenko, a former middle and high school choral director. In the late aughts Bochenko obliged Dixon’s request to replace Renee Fuller, wife of then-Alapaha Baptist Pastor Alan Fuller. After three or four years Bochenko moved on to teach remedial reading to Berrien students with special needs and another educator, Gail Powell, phenomenally picked up the slack. Now retired, Bochenko regards the production as “an Easter tradition for the Alapaha community. Over the years, volunteers representing the area churches have readily given their time and talent. By reliving the passion, death, and glorious resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ, participation of the cast and choir serves as a testimony to their Christian faith.”

Jeremy Roberts

Retro pop culture interviews & lovin’ something fierce sustain this University of Georgia Master of Agricultural Leadership alum. Email: jeremylr@windstream.net