Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A "Work in Progress"

There's an old script, by Paul McCusker, called "Work in Progress."  Since I've been in Kenya, two church drama groups have performed it to appreciative audiences.  This semester, Daystar's chapel theme was "becoming mature in Christ."  I was asked to do a drama chapel, so I pulled out the script, recruited by usual actors, and added new ones, and we put it on.  The script is rather like an AA meeting for Christians -each session they share about themselves, their struggles (or lack of them) and try to see how they can share Christ with others.  In between, we see them in their daily lives, with their own brand of Christianity interacting with the circumstances of their lives.  It's quite hilarious and a good chance for Christians to laugh at themselves (is that a painful laugh?).

Performed at a local church this past Sunday and saw a great example of audience interaction, rather like African American preaching, where the audience constantly comments on, or affirms the pastor in what he's saying.  Monologues on whether other Christians struggled with living in two different worlds were interrupted:   Actor:  "Am I the only one who feels this way?"   Audience:   "Oh no.  You're not alone."  When a Christian cliche-spouting woman's husband enters carrying a suitcase:   Audience:  "Where are you going?"  Actress:  (small moment to collect herself) "Challo, what's this?  You're leaving me?"  Actor: "I don't love you anymore"  Audience:  "(Gasp) Oh no you didn't!"

At the end, they all stand up and say, "I'm [name], and I'm a Christian."  The pastor loved taking that and offering an altar call to those who wanted to be Christians or return to the Lord - and there were several.  Wonderful to see drama being used in ministry that way!

A work in progress: A full-length play about Christian identity, evangelism, and refrigerator magnets (A Lillenas drama resource)

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