Tag Archives: play

Drama is Not Cute

I am an unabashed fan of mimes, skits, plays, and human videos being done within the Church. Drama is one of my passions, and all these things being done within the walls of the Church is something I genuinely get excited about. Excited to watch it, excited to participate, excited to direct it, and excited to critique it.

I went to a talent competition this weekend, and the whole day was about drama. I took notes during the performances and tried to pick my own winners. I compare my picks with the actual winners. It helps me be a better drama coach, and it will help me prepare the kids that I will eventually work with.

I heard something yesterday that was meant to be a positive remark, but as a drama person, I took it the wrong way. I was watching the younger kids perform, and the person announcing the different people coming to the stage also tried to engage the audience. During a lull while waiting for the judges to complete their comments and calculate their scores, the announcer told us, “any pastors in the audience, this is a great way to start off the service.” I honestly can’t remember exactly what he said after that, but the gist of it was “this is cute, and you should definitely incorporate in this in your service every now and then.”

picard

Yes, a seven-year-old in a tutu jumping across the stage is cute. There’s no denying it. But the reason there is dance or drama on any given Sunday is NOT because it’s cute. Drama people don’t perform because it’s cute. We perform because there is a message. Because of an anointing or a call on our lives. We are there to worship. Our focus is not on the crowd, it should be on Jesus.

As one who has spent most of my life working on something relating to a church drama, the fact that people still think of it as just “cute” instead of an actual ministry or something that has significance upsets me.

A singer or minister doesn’t want you to walk away from what they have done remembering what kind of outfit they wore. They want to know if what they did resonated within you. If it ministered. If it did, they succeeded.

Yes, the seven-year-old will be cute. But why is the child on stage? Do they want to show off? Or do they want to do something for Jesus? If it’s the latter, encourage that servanthood mentality and foster it in any way you see fit. Give them an opportunity to perform and to grow within their church family. But don’t let it remain “cute” to the congregation. Remind them it is another avenue of ministry. Trust me, your own drama person will thank you for the distinction.

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The Theatre

I went to East Carolina University to study Theatre Education. While I did not manage to land a teaching job, I did receive invaluable experience and a great appreciation for the art of theatre.

While my other theatre school friends have gone on to live fabulous lives following their teaching and acting careers, I am following my own dream of writing. Today, I will focus on the wonderful, frustrating world of theatre.

Do you know how many people work together just to get the lights working on the stage? Did you know there are such things like light design concept and unifying design in costumes?

Did you know that working in the set design crew as a freshman is guaranteed way to scare you into following all the safety rules? Try having your professor list every possible way you could die from every single tool that you will be expected to use in the near future. First lecture was the scariest. And the most informative. Safety goggles on, and never look at the light created while welding without wearing a mask. Be careful using a router. And an electric stapler. Pretty much everything, be careful.

While I managed to keep my life during the first semester at ECU, I did gain a new appreciation for the people whose lives were interwoven into creating the sets for each play. I managed not to break anything while creating a crucial piece of the scenery, the tear.

tear

A long, asymmetrical piece of wood was lowered in throughout the play, ‘tearing’ the document in the background. Very cool effect.

Since my time at ECU, I have gained a new respect for everyone who is dedicated to the theatre. Their lives are spent telling the story for the audience. Each piece is different, but crucial for the production of the play. As my lighting professor pointed out, there can be a great play going on, but no one will see it without the lights.

My experience in the theatre has helped me greatly in working in church dramas. Though the knowledge is helpful, it is horribly distracting if I am not the director. Fortunately, none of my directors have killed me yet and have welcomed my input.

As we approach the season of church and school plays, give a little extra love to the people running the show. Trust me, they need it!

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