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2/15/2012 2:05:00 PM
Apocalyptic Lenten drama to appear on social media
Loyola Productions photo
Cherinda Kincherlow stars as Wheezie, a talkative hairdresser who survives an apocalyptic event on the social media series 40.  
Loyola Productions photo
Cherinda Kincherlow stars as Wheezie, a talkative hairdresser who survives an apocalyptic event on the social media series 40.

A Jesuit production company has created a set of short post-apocalyptic dramas to premiere on social media and the web on Ash Wednesday. It's a new format for the ancient Lenten observance.

Loyola Productions’ new post, simply called 40, offers viewers a Lenten experience delivered exclusively through the Internet and social media. The idea is to appeal to believers and seekers alike.

The premier of 40 — a number of great meaning in Judeo-Christianity — is set for Ash Wednesday, Feb. 22. It continues through the 40 days of Lent, up to the Easter Triduum. Each week during Lent, two new episodes will air on the series’ original website — 40theseries.com — as well as on YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook, with updates available through Twitter. Each of the 14 episodes is a Lenten allegory that lasts four to seven minutes. The dramas are accompanied by meditative reflections centered on the scriptural references.

The series begins with seven strangers who appear to be the only survivors of a mysterious, calamity: Los Angeles is devoid of its population. No sign remains of family, neighbors or co-workers. No space ship hovers over the city; there are no zombies or flesh-eating viruses. There are just seven strangers, who share the same iridescent blue mark on the shoulder, a tiny, precise square of color that wasn’t there yesterday. Were they chosen? Or have they been culled? By whom? For what purpose?

Jesuit Brother Michael Breault, a writer and director, developed the series.

“A thrilling, post-apocalyptic drama to help further one’s Lenten experience takes storytelling to a whole new level and has simply never been done before," Brother Michael says. "40 is not just a series, it’s unique in that it also serves as a Lenten allegory. At the heart of each episode are questions and scriptural meditations designed to enhance a person’s Lenten journey.”

The executive producer is Jesuit Father Eddie Siebert.

"Using a cutting-edge medium combined with mixed media to prepare for a centuries-old spiritual tradition is very exciting for us and the entire Jesuit community," Father Siebert says. "We hope to reach a wide audience and get people talking. 40 is about conversation and community.”

The Midwest Jesuits and Loyola Press helped produce this west-coast project.

For more information and to view the full schedule of air dates, visit 40theseries.com or search for “40theseries” on Youtube, Facebook, Vimeo and Twitter.

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