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THROW a Lifeline

posted Nov 22, 2010, 7:24 PM by   [ updated Nov 2, 2011, 5:14 AM by Sites Admin ]

~ Kelli Boesel, Cadd Correspondent

Throwing a "Lifeline" to Community - High School Drama - Lori French took her Drama 2 class on Rahab’s journey of faith in the fall production, Lifeline. Although French said the primary intention of the show was not outreach, she also understood what the material could possibly do for the Faith community as well as the Filipino community.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to use drama in a ministry-type way,” she said. “There is so little Christian drama that is really good.”

Lifeline chronicles the story of Rahab, starting before her decision to help the Israelites. Kevin Stone, the playwright, takes the character of Rahab and expands what is mentioned in the Bible. "She is in such a small part of the Bible, yet she is mentioned in the Hebrew Hall-of-Faith", French said. The play is the story of her journey to Jehovah.

The biblical base for the play offered an opportunity to challenge students, French said. Actors can lend themselves to being too concerned with their personal performance, rather than the impact on the audience, she said.

(Senior, Caleb Webster, playing one of the Israelite spies)

“It really has challenged us,” French said. “(It has) brought scripture alive to us. As you act it, you can’t read it and gloss over it. It makes me wish there were more good pieces of Christian drama, because it can be a good thing for the actors as well as the audience.”

A major difference this year, beyond the Christian themes of the play, was that the production was a class project rather than a school-wide drama. French said she loved teaching a class that’s primary function is to put on a production.

(Lori French, H.S. Drama Teacher and Director for Lifeline)

“I am loving the interactions with the kids,” she said. “I love the fact that as you are studying the script, new challenges spark conversation.”

Students have enjoyed the class, although their close relationships sometimes cause unneeded distractions.

“We touch base everyday and we grow together,” ~ Kendra Hause (grade 12) said. “It’s a good group experience.”

Several students found Lifeline stretch them as actors. Grant Doty (grade 12), who plays the role of the Canaanite priest Eschol, said he has to reach outside himself to act as something he is not, an entirely evil character.

“I have to make a very big distinction between who I am and the character,” he said. “I would really like people to strongly dislike Eschol.”

The intensity of the play and it’s mature context has given Whitney Bauck (grade 12) a lot to process while playing the lead role of Rahab.

 “(The play) has a number of pretty intense scenes, which can be emotionally draining, but fun too,” she said. “There is a lot of stuff, in terms of intensity, you have to build. I know we will all get there eventually.”

 While getting deeper into the role of Rahab, Bauck said she has been affected in her spiritual life, helping her look at passages in the Bible with a new perspective.

 “(Rahab) is so new to all these concepts of Israel’s God,” she said. “There is a reason people are drawn to Him. (For Rahab) guidelines were a relief, rather than this restricting thing we treat them as.”

On everyone’s mind is how to draw people into the play with such a powerful message of redemption.

 “The main draw for the people outside the Faith community will be the high quality production and theater,” Bauck said. “It would be cool if a lot of people from outside the community could come and be impacted.” 

Doty said he thinks the play, being about mature topics such as temple prostitution, could have an impact on people today who find themselves un-redeemable.

“The play is brutally honest about people’s problems,” he said. “Honesty has a lot to do with it being a ministry opportunity.”

Hause said she would love to see people come who don’t know about redemption in Christ, but she thinks Christians can be impacted as well.  “Even for Christians, I hope that it is challenging to their faith and helps people evaluate their lives for the moment,” she said.

French said she continued to pray for the impact on her students.  “The message is so very poignant that it would be impossible to walk away egotistical,” she said. “But, pray for a vision for the actors; for God to receive the glory for what they have done.”

The stage has been set and all that remains is for the Faith community to reach out and bring those who need the message of redemption to the theater.

“God will bring the people that he wants here,” French said. “The show leaves the door open and the questions that follow will direct them to the believers who brought them.”