This past Easter I performed at Atlantic Shores in a production of "The Man Called Jesus." The play, while being at Shores, is actually run by a non-profit organization (http://www.tmcj.org/) so the whole auditioning process was way more nerve wracking. I hate auditions- especially for non-singing roles. I feel like when I sing I have something that makes me stand out. When I am just acting (in which I have no formal training) I feel like I look just like everyone else does. But in the audition I happened to get a great male acting partner so it went well. I was hoping to maybe have a line or two, but would just be thankful to be able to get back on stage. I haven't done a show since before I started graduate school. I miss it.
So was surprised when I got the call on Saturday morning asking if I would be willing to play Martha. It was a large female role involving a lot of rehearsals but fortunately my class for that part of the semester was pretty light and both of my bosses were willing to work with me. Thrilled, I accepted the role and began rehearsals the next day. And several of the disciples had never acted before, so some of the rehearsals were VERY LONG!
I have never done a show like this one. In order to get this thing off the ground it takes over 200 people. Make up, costumes, lighting, special effects, sound, security, props, animals... it was crazy. The stage at Shores had to be doubled in size to fit the 120 actors on stage. We were everywhere in that building.
I spent most of my time with the actresses who played Mary Mother of Jesus (we all called her "Mom"), Mary sister of Martha and Mary Magdalene (who we called Mag). The four of us were like "peas and carrots" during rehearsals. Robert, who played Jesus, called us the M & Ms. Here is a pic of Mag in her costume:
After only 5 weeks of rehearsals (one of which I was in California) we opened our 11 show run on a Wednesday night. The last 6 shows sold out, so I guess work spread that the show was good.
There were some real highlights for me. One was working with Robert- he was incredible. Watching someone you like so much be fake crucified every night gave me a whole new appreciation for how Martha must have felt. I knew they weren't hurting Robert and it still was difficult. As I sat on the floor pretending to weep every night, God and I had many conversations about how much He really loves me. And how I need to tell other people how much He loves them.
My make up guy, Alex was AMAZING. Even though he is only 14 he did an incredible job with my make up- to the point where I would wait extra long just to have him do it. He was so much fun to talk to and hopefully I will run into him in future shows in Hampton Roads.
It was amazing every night to stand with the cast at the end of the show and pray for the audience. In such difficult times, many families have realized the importance of each other instead of things. And while some people are angry with God, many are turning back to God as a source of support and comfort. We prayed over those seats and that auditorium many times, in hopes that lives would be changed.
I am hoping they will ask me back next year- I would love to be a part of it once again!