We lead participants in theater skills including script analysis, character development and improvisation to open scripture in illuminating experiences. Thetheatrical ensemble in rehearsal
experience causes them to grow to the point of presenting the scripture to their larger community, sparking significant conversations and inspiring more plays.

Three possible configurations of this experience could build upon each other:

  • The weekly series allows more time for participants to study, practice skills and roles, as well as grow in understanding of story and character. This may be a good way to follow the shorter events.
  • The one-day workshop would depend more upon developing improvisational skills and a shorter script. The performance at the end of the day could be combined with an informal potluck for the larger community.  This kind may be the way to spark interest in the weekly series.
  • The two-day weekend retreat, would allow more thought and rehearsal of a simple script, as well as provide a more contemplative approach.  Participants would be able to come back on the second day with fresh insights and energy to build upon what had been learned the first day.  This also may be the way to spark interest in the weekly series, or refresh the vision after a season of theater work.
The Progression
  1. A small group of participants numbering around 10 people interested in play writing, directing, producing and acting, meets and studies a scripture
    passage.
  2. Through script and character development, improvisation and rehearsal the group experiences spiritual growth while developing theater skills.
  3. The culmination of the course, workshop, or retreat is one or more public performances in which audience conversation is stimulated. Performances could be incorporated into a worship service.  The performance could be done simply or elaborately, as reader’s theater, improvisation, or fully staged, depending on the capacities of the group. The presentation could be composed of a collection of short, coordinated scripts, or one longer script.
  4. At the event the next workshop, or series, and performance date could be announced with the invitation for others to experience the process.
  5. The process could hold the potential for developing quality chancel drama to enrich worship. The ability to present theatrical pieces in the wider community, for instance during the Easter and Advent seasons, could also develop.

Our role in this progression is to stimulate your community to rise as the kinds of creators they are meant to be. As spiritual leaders, artists and theater
practitioners, Mark and Donna kindly guide, teach, and encourage participants to grow both spiritually and as creators through the complete experience. The
accessibility to your community of a large rehearsal/performance space will be important and a raised stage with extra lights would be very helpful.

To learn more and discuss how to adapt Word Show to your community, please e-mail MarkandDonna at horizongate.org