In college I joined Youth Mission International’s (MBMS/i) drama and music team. I had sworn I would never live in Fresno… and when God opened all the doors and led me to attend Fresno Pacific University… I was afraid. So afraid, that I joined the only club I knew… the club of people who’d be crucial in my decision to attend FPU.
And they happened to be a drama and music team.
I loved all four years with this team. We traveled along the west coast and in local areas, sharing the good news of Jesus through music and drama. I learned about the stage and acting in this setting. I was even part of a drama training video that was used to teach other teams the dramas, wherever in the world they were.
From there I spent a month in Northern Ireland leading a small team in street drama. Then Jeremy and I traveled to Haiti with some of our dear friends with Christian Friendship Ministries. Our role? Teach each of the four teams basic acting skills. We then took each team to a different part of their village and performed for the crowds. It was incredible.
Then, two Christmases before we moved to Germany, Jeremy and I were in a church musical. It was a FULL ON production and so much fun.
So. Much. FUN.
Here came another opportunity to interact with the stage… from a whole different seat. I joined four other women (including the Director, Allison Stroud). We sat through three days of auditions (during after school hours)- then deliberated about each person and each part that we needed to fill for “The Man Who Came to Dinner.” It was so difficult… so much talent, so few parts. There was laughter and there were tears. And lots of dreaming and hoping that these kids could pull off parts we were giving them.
Then the rehearsals began. Two months of daily practice… every day except Sunday. I went whenever I could, given the two young kids I had along, which was at least twice a week.
I was cheerleader for the students and the Director in the final hours. The lead had around 4oo lines to memorize! That is beyond anything I’ve ever tried to do! We had Tech-Rehearsal, Dress Rehearsal, more rehearsal… and then came the show.
And it was incredible. The students pulled it off. The audience laughed and gave it high reviews. My heart beat so proudly for each of those kids, having seen them from day one to this very moment. I witnessed first hand the power of trusting someone with an important role to play- and seeing them exceed all expectations.
I hopped back stage before the show began… checked in to see how individuals were doing. They fought down their butterflies, found their characters and settled in to their final performance. Many were battling the nerves of the show… but the sadness that soon it would all be over.
As soon as the show ended, I began setting up for the Cast party. It was the least (and last) I could do to love and support these kids for their hard work in the show. At least one of the students plans on continuing in theater post-high school (which I’m so excited about!)
What a blessing to be included with the high school play. In so many ways, my experience and limited stage-skill felt so small. Yet what a fun opportunity to engage the students in this way. (Thanks, Allison, for including me!)