A Very Special Night...

I think I've mentioned (in passing) that I wrote a Christmas play. Well, tonight I had the opportunity to watch that play, and I'm still a little overwhelmed by the whole experience.  But the way it all came about it is a good story, so I'll start at the beginning.

Months ago I was kidding around with a man at church, a regular in the cast every year, and since we were talking about some of the different accents he's done before I jokingly mentioned writing a program set in New York so everyone could talk that way. Clearly we were kidding and I didn't really give it another thought, other than "Yeah, right... That's way out of my league." I've written college papers, a few poems for events here and there, and blog posts... not Christmas plays.

A couple of weeks later, I was at a my students' piano recital when my friend, who happens to be married to the music minister, asked (out of the blue, it seemed) if I had ever considered writing a Christmas program. I laughed but then had to truthfully answer that an idea had actually occurred to me, if only in passing. Over the next month or so we decided that I would, in fact, run with this vague idea I had and turn it into a real play.

In the next several weeks I came up with a basic synopsis of the plot as well as the list of main characters. Mr. Denton and I sat down to talk about the direction we wanted it to go. There would still be a strong salvation message, but we both felt like reaching out to Christians who are discouraged would minister to the entire audience. I'm so thankful for those meetings, since they really guided what I was doing and obviously Mr. Denton knew about a million times more about this whole racket than I did.

Anyway, since I had really never done anything like this before (other than a few parts for PTF programs!), I got started the only way I knew how... By sitting down at the computer and just writing. I worked on it sporadically over the first few weeks of summer, then put the project on hold for a while during our move to New Bern. Oh, and since the drama is always accompanied by the choir, I was sent 100+ songs to listen to. It was definitely a Christmas in July around our house! By mid-July, I was back at writing. I spread out the first 2/3 or so over those months, but finally, knowing I wouldn't rest until it was done, I finished the last part over the course of a couple days. Then I sent it off to Goldsboro, waited to hear it wasn't terrible, and went on with life.

Then a couple of months ago, I got this in the mail, and got really excited.

I heard every so often how the casting and rehearsals were going, and learned a few months back that, in a tragedy of conflicting schedules, the program would take place on the same weekend as ours here at Pleasant Acres. So for the last several weeks I've looked forward to doing what I did in college every year...attending the Thursday night dress rehearsal. Walking in and seeing the stage, props, and everything had me excited before anything even got started. Then the program began and from beginning to end I was absolutely wowed... The cast, choir, crew, and every detail was awesome. Of course, as a rehearsal, there were a few hiccups, but I was thrilled. I sat like a kid on the edge of my seat the whole time and took pictures like a proud stage mom.

Writing a Christmas play in a little home office in the humid summer months is one thing, and gratifying in its own way. But seeing things you scribbled in a notebook, jotted down in a meeting, or wrote in the early hours of the morning (wondering if they even made sense) brought to life months later by a truly awesome cast (and choir) is something I'll never forget. I didn't know quite what to expect, since I wasn't aware of who all had been cast and wasn't entirely sure what the script said, considering I hadn't read it in months. I was blown away. I know those people worked so hard to learn the many lines (I'm wordy, remember?) and really convey the message of the whole thing, which is restoration and encouragement, as well as the Gospel. I can't take credit for the script, really... I know the Lord gave me those ideas and words. Seeing it all come together in what I truly believe will reach a lot of people was humbling and an honor, to say the least.

Way to go, Faith choir and drama! For those who asked, you couldn't have "done it justice" any more than you did. All your comments last night meant so much to me; I'm glad you've enjoyed making this happen. I really hope everyone who can go see it will, and not because I wrote it, but because these people are ready to minister to you! Thanks for taking some words on a paper and turning them into something the Lord can use! Merry Christmas!


Since this was a pretty big deal, I'm still linking up with Lauren, even though this is pretty much all five of my high five for Friday. =)

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