After a two-year hiatus, the further easing of Covid-19 measures provided a platform for interactive story telling once again! And we wanted to tell the Christmas Story!
With a large cast of 26 (including 10 children of ages 6 to 13), and 40 crew comprising make-up artists, stagehands, in-house set and wardrobe designers, directors, musicians and more, the team members sowed in some 150 hours each, from mid-July till the show week! We asked some of them what their personal takeaways were:
Renu Adalia, Stage Manager
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).
"This production was extra special to me because I saw three generations come together to glorify His name, each person giving of their time, energy and talents. I saw what it meant to be faithful and to honour our commitments – adults and children alike showed up each week despite long days, sprained ankles, and minor ailments.
The beauty of each production is that God shows up when and where we least expect. For me, there were many moments that took my breath away. One of these moments was a child’s prayer before we began our rehearsal. He prayed, “Thank you Jesus for being loyal to us. We want to be loyal to you and serve you.”
God is always present. He is there in our routines where we build an altar of prayer with our families. Our little ones are watching us as we put our trust in Jesus. They are watching as we honour our commitments and serve wholeheartedly. We serve an extraordinary God who delights in showing up when we least expect, yet we can always trust Him for His perfect timing. He is a responsive, loving Father who delights in showing up for us. With God, our ordinary moments become extraordinary."
Lina Ng, Cast (Fruit Seller)
“God will not be slow or slack to keep His word. Nor is time measured in His hands the way we
measure. He sees and knows.”
Acting is a gift that the Lord has blessed me with, and I have been working in this industry for over 30 years.
Prior to this production, I had done mostly television dramas and a few movies, but never a musical! So, I was nervous but very excited to be able to serve God in this way. After all, I was the one who had asked the producer if there were any roles I could participate in!
Unlike TV acting where cameras pick up every small and subtle expression, theatre requires me to exaggerate every expression and project my voice. This was manageable. It was singing ‘live’ that was a great challenge!
Being untrained, I couldn’t support and hold many notes for long. During the practices, I even sang a few flat notes. And although my directors were kind and confident, I was very worried!
Up till the full-dress rehearsals three days before the first show, I was still struggling to sing a particular
note! No one gave me any pressure, but I was still upset with myself.
There have been different seasons in my life when the Lord has challenged me to ‘upgrade’ myself. Though
I may not be a perfectionist, I have always desired to present a flawless show to my Abba Father. This show was no different, and my Heavenly Father deserves my best!
It was through these few months that I’ve learnt so much about faith, and how to look beyond my inabilities and to believe God for what seemed ‘impossible’. God perfects things through our imperfections!
I’m thankful to be able to work with a team of people who were so patient, encouraging, and full of faith.
Our directors were always saying positive words to spur us on to do better and to improve. Our unity and love for one another gave us great strength to overcome, and together, we did it! We did our very best and brought pleasure to the Lord! Thank you, Jesus!
Dennis Miller, Cast (King Herod)
“These days, everyone wants to be a king! Ill-intentioned, power-hungry wannabes...”
I felt privileged that my whole family got to be part of the production! I was most happy that my children, who are four and seven years old, made new friends with the other children on the cast and got to know some of the adults too. This helped to reinforce the idea that the church is about serving and relationships, not just attendance. The Christmas Story helped to remind us all that Christmas is about Jesus. Personally, it caused me to reflect and try to understand what Mary and Joseph had to go through emotionally at such a young age just to reach that nativity scene which we are all familiar with. It must have been so tough!
There were a lot of rehearsals in a production like this and sometimes it was definitely tiring, but seeing how other individuals and families managed and made sacrifices to stay committed truly encouraged me. Their example assured me that it could be done, and done with humility and joy at the same time!
This is an experience that my family will talk about for a long time to come and it has left us with so many positive memories and experiences.
Zenon Tang, Cast (Joseph)
“I’m learning...that walking in God’s favour comes at a price”
I wanted to be in this play as I had been in a few of the previous productions, ‘Snowglobed’, ‘The Room’, ‘Unseen’ and ‘My Grandfather’s House’.
I showed up for the first script-reading session and was tasked to take on the role of Joseph. And I truly enjoyed the character!
Of course, there were challenges, one of which was getting up close with my scene partner, Ruvindi, who played Mary. We had to believably portray a betrothed couple! Another challenge was getting the emotions right during a solo song that would convey all of Joseph’s struggles with God. There were high and low points as I experimented and worked through this role, trying to pin down the best emotions for the part. But with the help of my directors, I got there!
While practising ‘Joseph’s Song’, it really felt like a personal prayer to God, asking Him to help guide me through the tough times, especially when I had a lot of other commitments apart from the production itself. It really drew me close to God and led me to seek His face.
In all, this production was filled with both good and not-so-good learning experiences, but it was definitely one of the best productions I’ve been in!