Another musical production is in full swing, and there is a lot to do! But, by God's grace, it will all be accomplished. After a busy rehearsal and the beginning attempts to find costumes for each person (a feat, since we have 33 actors and some play more than one character!), I am feeling a little overwhelmed. But, God has worked wonderfully in the past in His good timing, and I know that He shall do so again.
It's always hard for me to get to sleep after directing rehearsals - my head is whirling with so many details - so I thought I would take this time to write an update. As you have probably noticed by the pitiful amount of posts recently, I have been quite busy with other things, the biggest item being the musical. This may be a slow few weeks of posting, as we get all of the parts of the production worked out.
After quite a few musicals that I had considered didn't work out and many people with schedules that were a bit full, I began to wonder if a musical would even be feasible this summer. Then, God led me again to "The Amazing Jerusalem Makeover" by a suggestion of Jubilee. I had received the choral book and CD a few years ago as part of a promo for a musical club we had joined. At first I was turned off by the somewhat silly lines, the modernized aspects, and the large amount of boys it would require! As I listened again this May, however, I began to visualize how things could be done.
"The Amazing Jerusalem Makeover" tells the story of Nehemiah and the rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem. Although it does make some things more modernized, it remains pretty true to the details found in the Bible, which was important to me. Although the suggestion is to do it in modern dress, we will be producing it using Biblical costumes, to make the story a little less trivial. I've also changed a few acting and line suggestions, to make it more true to the production style I am envisioning. The music has a beautiful Jewish/Middle Eastern flavor, and the songs help tell the story while also presenting the overall message that we must remember the Lord and trust Him in all that we do. From royalty to bad guys and "nasties" to Persian and Jewish townspeople, this musical is a fun one for children and teens, as well as a few fathers, to act in!
While presenting Biblical history, this musical also has applications that are crucial for our world today. The themes of unity, remembering the Lord, asking God for strength, working together for God's glory, and each family building and defending their portion of the wall are all things that the Body of Christ needs to hear today. The parallels between Jerusalem and the Bride of Christ are striking. Just as Jerusalem was broken down and needed to be strengthened and built up, so the Body of Christ needs to be unified and strengthened today. Just as the Jews longed to see their city shining brightly and standing strong, so the Lord Jesus longs to purify His Bride and make her strong. It is a blessing to work on this musical and be reminded of these things throughout the production process!
There are definite challenges. The production process from start to finish ended up being only a month in length because of busy schedules in my and other people's families. However, God is beginning to unite people's hearts in unity, and it is enjoyable to rehearse, though it feels like a million different things are whirling in my head at times! We practice each Tuesday and Thursday evening for 2 hours, and will also be doing two Saturday morning rehearsals and a Saturday afternoon "work call."
God has led 12 families to be in the musical, and it is fun to work with old friends and make new ones. Although it still would have been nice to have more boys (it is hard to find young men willing to act!), a sufficient number has come together.
I couldn't do this production on my own. God has blessed me with an amazing assistant director, a father who is also acting and lends invaluable help. My vocal director is wonderful and a joy to work with, being also my dear friend, Miriam Rebekah. ;) Miriam's dad has graciously agreed to be my set coordinator, and his experience in construction has allowed him to figure out how to build the bricks that we need to build the wall onstage during the musical. A mother experienced in makeup is doing a fantastic job as my makeup coordinator and designer, and many others have stepped up to fill jobs as needed. There are still a few more jobs to fill, but in God's timing, I trust that people will come together as I look for them. It is a joy to see others catch the vision!
It is still very hard. It's easy to become discouraged, especially when faced with seemingly overwhelming obstacles. Even as I've learned to delegate more of the work, people still have to ask me for clarification and approval, which can be distracting. Sometimes I wonder how on earth I could have conceived directing this and being in charge of all of these people... But God gets me through. Without His strength, I could do none of this. When I am overwhelmed and know that I can't do this on my own, He teaches me patience and trust. He shows me how small I really am and how great He is! Christ's grace is sufficient for me, for His power is made perfect in weakness... (2 Corinthians 12:9)
The book of Nehemiah is an encouraging one to read as you are reminded of the amazing things God can do! If God could give His people strength to complete the Jerusalem wall in a mere 52 days, God can give us strength and grace to pull this musical together in 24 days. As the presentation dates approach on August 7th-9th, I continue to pray that God will be glorified in all that we do. I would appreciate your prayers as well!
"They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, 'Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.' But I prayed, 'Now strengthen my hands.'” - Nehemiah 6:9