Actor Nathan Obokoh is to play Jesus Christ in front of thousands of people in a spectacular open-air city centre production.
The 29-year-old from Oadby will play the lead role in this year's production of Christ in the Centre at Humberstone Gate, in Leicester, next month.
The former church youth worker said: "It is a real honour and a privilege to play this role.
"I will bring my own experiences to bear when playing Jesus, but it is a big responsibility.
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"It is both exciting and nerve-wracking to be taking on such a role and to be performing in front of thousands of people in my home city.
"All my family and friends will be there so they will be giving me much-needed moral support on the day.
"To me, my colour is not an issue – I will concentrate on communicating Jesus's words as clearly as I can."
Nathan, a former student at Wyggeston Queen Elizabeth I College, has played the part of disciples James and Simon in past years.
This year's production features a cast of about 40, with about half performing in the event for the first time.
Director Sarah Chiswell-Hornett said: "I am delighted with the commitment and story-telling strength of the 2013 cast and really excited about rehearsals and the production we are going to create.
"I cast Nathan as Jesus because he possesses a natural talent and serenity that are perfect for the role."
The powerful reenactment of the crucifixion promises to tell the Easter story in a different way to previous years.
The event, held each year on Good Friday, will be given a new twist by children's author Meg Harper.
It will be based on her play, The First Easter, which has been performed in both the UK and US.
She has joined the event's producers and is writing fresh scenes to extend the original script, which will premiere in Leicester.
It is also the first year the play will be staged twice in one day. Vic Allsop, ecumenical officer for Churches Together in Leicestershire, welcomed the move.
He said: "Several major parishes around the city say they have not been able to attend Christ in the Centre because they hold their own events on Good Friday morning, but are looking forward to joining us for the afternoon performance this year."
The Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Rev Tim Stevens, welcomed thousands of people to last year's event, which cost £40,000 to stage.
Hoards of spectators packed out Humberstone Gate and joined in prayer before watching the traditional Bible story unfold. Many audience members were brought to tears by the powerful narrative.
Writer Meg Harper has previously penned scripts for similar events in Warwick, where her story The Day They Killed The Son of God was performed on Good Friday in 2007.
The performance of The First Easter will take place in Humberstone Gate, at 11am and 2pm.