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‘Prince of Egypt’ composer says empathy is needed for people to treat others as Jesus taught

NBCUniversal
NBCUniversal

Multi-Grammy and Academy Award-winning composer Stephen Schwartz, who's behind the newly released film “The Prince of Egypt: The Musical,” is calling on people worldwide to show empathy toward each other amid times of dissension and strife. 

“The Prince of Egypt: The Musical” was released by NBCUniversal to stream this week and is based on the classic DreamWorks Animation. Filmed live at London’s Dominion Theatre, the production is filled with stunning stage performances of the biblical story of Moses. 

Schwartz, born to a Jewish family in New York City, said the musical comes at an interesting time in history amid the Israe-Hamas war following Hamas' terror attacks on Oct. 7. The production displays the relationship between Moses, born Jewish but adopted by Pharaoh's daughter, and his adopted brother Ramses, who was Egyptian. Despite being raised together, the two men are are at odds. 

In response to all the division in the world and the hatred spreading as a result of it, the composer said “love” is needed as well as “empathy.” 

"I feel what's happened in our society, in contemporary times, is a severe lack of empathy,” Schwartz said in a recent interview with The Christian Post.

“Everyone is very, very busy, looking [at events] from their own perspective. Seeing things through the lens of their own grievances, all of which are valid, but the ability to put oneself in another person's shoes to try and think about what life, what the world, what a specific issue looks like through the way they see it, the more we can do that, I think then the better we'll all function as a society,” he continued. 

The critically acclaimed production tells a tale of resilience and hope.

The movie invites viewers to “journey through the wonders of Ancient Egypt as two young men, raised together as brothers in a kingdom of privilege, find themselves suddenly divided by a secret past. One must rule as Pharaoh, the other must rise up and free his true people; both face a destiny that will change history forever,” the synopsis reads. 

"If there's anything that's really clearly a problem right now in this disaster in the Middle East, but also in so many other areas of our modern life, it seems to me a real lack of empathy,” Schwartz told CP.

The writer said he holds on to words he heard from Jesus in these times. 

"When I did 'Godspell,' years and years ago, the thing that was most meaningful to me in that show and a line that continues to resonate in my head and just haunt me is when the character of Jesus says, 'Always treat others as you would have them treat you.' That's the basis, I think, of all religion at its core once you take out the deity. 

"Really, what we should be living through, and I'm sorry to get preachy, but it is so important, is if we would just treat everybody else the way we would like to be treated, we'd be living in a much, much better world,” Schwartz concluded. 

“The Prince of Egypt: The Musical” is now streaming online. 

Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: jeannie.law@christianpost.com She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic

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