Sunday, January 5, 2014

Remembering that God works "Then & Now"

Wow! There is something to be said about how inspiring and energizing it is to see your team growing and blossoming as they use their gifts for God. We had the blessing of staging a new bilingual musical for the winter and the even greater blessing of seeing this kind of growth take place in our youth.

Our production was simply titled "Then and Now." The idea behind the musical began after listening to a sermon one Sunday on the demon-possessed man that Jesus freed from Legion. This planted a question in my head, "What would it be like to have a conversation with this man? What would it be like to experience this first-person?" This led to wondering about other figures that Jesus touched throughout ministry.

In prayer and planning with my assistant director, we decided to focus on 3 narratives: a child and mother that went to see Jesus, an ill woman and a youth raised from the dead.  We re-purposed some songs we had just learned while also including new material to weave it all together. The songs we used included:
  • "Hold Me" by Jamie Grace (featuring puppetry, props and live actors)
  • "Me Dice Que Me Ama" by Jesus Adrian Romero (featuring blacklight hand mime)
  • "Beautiful" by MercyMe (featuring sign language and painting)
  • "You Are Being Loved" by Steven Curtis Chapman (featuring human video and choreography)
The way we structured the narratives were as monologues and dialogues. In writing the scripts, we decided to incorporate elements from both the history of the characters and the testimony of the actor. This created a deep personal connection between the actors and the characters and made the production feel "real" for everyone involved. My goal was to free my team from the burden of "acting" and just let them be themselves.

Our goal was met and I was blown away. The team, though trembling from nerves, not only shared their stories but drew us into them. The audience's response was incredible. People laughed, people cried (and I laughed, I cried). People were also moved as they realized that God didn't just work then, he also works now.

→ If you are interested in the script and director notes for this musical, please feel free to e-mail