Television actor Frank Runyeon returns to Johnstown during Holy Week to offer his latest performance based on biblical texts.

He will present his drama at 7 p.m. April 11 at Visitation Roman Catholic Church, 1127 McKinley Ave. in Johnstown’s 8th Ward.

His newest performance, “The Gospel of John: The Book of Signs,” is drawn from the first 11 chapters of the Gospel of John and presented in a contemporary fashion.

Runyeon will bring a glorifying message at a significant time in the liturgical calendar when he performs his one-man show.

“I saw Frank at a show he did three years ago at Westmont’s Our Mother of Sorrows and we got him to come to our church the next year,” said Rose Marchese, director of religious education at Visitation.

“He does a fantastic show. We had a sold-out audience of about 500 people and they enjoyed every minute.”

Runyeon goes through several costume changes and often interacts with the audience.

“He is spreading the word of God through his acting ability,” Marchese said.

Runyeon tells the story in the present tense. The performance is set in darkness with candlelight and theatrical lighting.

Runyeon said in a written statement that he intends to create an atmosphere of suspense and open a door to deeper faith.

Aside from his acting credentials, Runyeon also is a certified theologian.

He received a bachelor’s degree in religion from Princeton University and studied at Yale Divinity School before receiving a master’s degree in theology from the General Theological Seminary in New York.

The play is about 90 minutes and a reception will be held in the church basement following the performance.

The timing of the performance, Tuesday of Holy Week, is appropriate.

“This production is fine for children over the age of 7,” Marchese said. “We have had groups of schoolchildren attend and they found it most enlightening.”

She invites all Christians to attend the dramatization.

“We welcome everyone to attend,” Marchese said. “Catholic or not, this is a message that can be shared by all.”

Tickets for the show are $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and younger or $20 per family.

Tom Lavis can be reached at 532-5054 or

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