THE CREATIVE AND MEDIA TEAM would like to take you behind the scenes and give you a glimpse of what went through in the minds of the Directors, Script writers, Music composer, Light Men, Cast and Recording artists in the making of this Epic play. Some might be inspiring, some might be informative and some just plain trivia. Whatever be it, the team would like every reader to understand this simple fact- Talents snuggly buried in piggy banks might look like they are safe. They might never invite embarrassing comments, they may never evoke mocking laughter; not even the much dreaded, Gosh-I-could-have-done-better remark! But the sad truth is they also never get to receive the most commended words from the Giver-of-all-gifts- Well done, good and faithful servant, you have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master. We don't care what critics have to say, we don't wait for our Emmys or Grammys. We have an audience of one and hearing His applause will keep us writing, directing, recording, acting and winning men over to His side.
Do you want to join this circus too? Come, join the Club!
No great work goes without its share of bloopers, goof-ups and slip-ups and we would like to be honest enough to share some of those encountered in the “HWDIA” here. While none of them were show-spoilers and had been the result of plain oversight by our forgetful ‘sheep’, they are a lesson in the age-old truth that we still haven’ gotten a grip of- In spite of all our botch-ups, God still keeps painting His masterpieces with the very color we had spilt over His canvas, Doesn’t he?
HERE GOES THE BLOOPER CHART TOPPERS!
#1: Our artist, who donned the role of a sick invalid woman running towards Jesus to be healed, we are told, is a stickler for time. And so in her eagerness to run on time, she wore a gleaning wrist watch that day. Aunty, a sand clock could have been more appropriate for those times :)
#2: Our scriptwriter just went a little overboard when he used’ Raca’ in the scene where Bartimaeus reprimands Meshullam for stealing his drachmas. Dear-brother-script-writer, “raca” in Greek would be equivalent to ‘moron’ in English. If you are grappling for the word “thief”, you should have settled for the word “Klepto” or something sounding like that. Better luck on your Greek, next time!
#3: Meshullam discovering that “stick-on” moustaches are exactly what they say they are, while rendering the “He will do it again” number. John (he was the artist who played Meshullam), whenever you are asked to sport a moustache, please grow one, grown-up-man! Don’t settle for implants :)
#4: Mexican Wave by the Three Kings. The move, we are told, should have been an effortless sway in sync with the song not an oriental version of a Mexican wave. Next time, let your camels do the dancing...
I thought teaching little kids to dance in a week's time would be really tough, but what do you know unless you try it, right??? Well, training angels to dance like angels for the Christmas program skit wasn't that hard, as it seemed to the people who were watching us practice every evening. Its right we (Gracia and I) had the usual tensions when we just had few practice sessions and the kid's exams going on: Will the song come out right? Are we teaching them easy steps? Will it look good on stage? Will the parents have problems picking and dropping their kids? Can we get out of office early? Will the extra fittings for the angels be done on time? And most of all… will the children be able to catch the steps in this short span of time?
As it was a responsibility that we had taken; even though we had no clue how to choreograph a song, we started to teach the kids after a short prayer with no concrete dance steps in mind. And you might have guessed what happened… Not only were we able to think of easy dance steps for the kids, they even picked it up instantly. Teaching these kids to dance wasn’t a hassle as they were co-operative and did exactly what we did, even when we messed up the steps. There were times when the kids would do it right and we would mess up the steps, which ended up in heaps of laughter.
The lazy hours usually spent at home after work was in fact enjoyable with these sweet kids… cracking jokes, doing exercises and snacking together. The final day came and the nervousness started… except for the kids, who were cool as a cucumber. And by what you saw on 16th Dec., you wouldn’t have guessed the tension we had back-stage as we had little time and space to bring the kids out onto the stage. By God’s grace, everything went on well, and if I have to say, the dance went on fabulously well; I would have to ask you, as you are a better judge being part of the audience. - Ruth & Gracia
Our place in the play “ He will do it again “ was backstage, lending support as a prop team. It was fun and exciting, putting our heads together to plan and get things ready for the settings on stage. It was team work that got things going. When the day of the drama arrived, with hearts – a – fluttering we got into action and lo! “ God did it again” He blessed the little effort, time and energy that we had offered to Him and turned it into a wonderful blessing for all ! Kudos to Jesus and thanks to the prop team ! Remember, Large doors swing on small hinges. - Susheela Joseph and Team
We were one of the hundreds of people who were touched by the Intensity of the play. The life of Jesus from birth , His work and right upto His crucifixion was illustrated in a simple yet complete way. We had come with an expectation to see only the life of Jesus and His life on earth… yet we were rewarded with a true enriching experience of not alone the way He touched lives when he was earth but also the way He continues to touch lives even to this day through people who know Him. Hats off to the actors and the people who worked on this play coz they’ve utilized their God given talents for His glory and out did themselves! God bless this team as they embark on new journeys in spreading the gospel to more and more people. -Gillian
The spirit of Christmas gently breezed in when we began worship on Dec. 16th evening. It was wonderful to see so many new people. I believe that some who came in as casual on-lookers went back home with the gift of love, which comes only when one celebrates Jesus. The play depicted the transcending love of our God, which transforms bitterness, more than just conveying that the Lord is a Healer. The Choir apart from looking professional, sang beautiful and meaningful songs. -Surekha
This is my second experience in a big scale drama, my personal experience during the practice sessions our prayer life was edified. After the program everyone in the drama wanted to be in some ministry of the church. We also learnt a few skills in drama on stage. Thank God for everything he did.. -Jonathan
“The Lord has done this and it is marvelous in our eyes” Psalms 118:23
It was marvelous of what the Lord has done to me by bringing me to be a part of the skit for the glory of His name. This was my first major play that I've done and am glad that I had to do it for the Lord. It's not of how big the part is, but rather how responsible we are in the part given to us. Bringing many together from the different ministries of the church, we got to share the other ways of helping in building the temple of God . Praying for one another was the major impact in my life especially for those who do not know Christ. The skit has brought me a step closer to my God by humbling me even more and has improved my confidence for performing in public.
The skit was a time of enjoyment where everyone came in one accord; in one with laughter and joy on the goofs up we had it was a time which we cherished. Sincere thanks to all pastors and to everyone who helped me to be a part of the skit and backed me to do my part better. -Anish
When we laid the idea of a Christmas play, the demands could not have been more challenging. A 30 minute racy play wrapped around the five pivotal incidents in the life of Jesus- the nativity, the miracles, the crucifixion, the resurrection and the great commission. There is no taking ‘em off, he said. Three song tracks, one kid’s choreography, a fight sequence and a market place commotion to keep the tempo going. Well, you have a master director already jumping into the audience shoes and thinking for them. As if that wasn’t tough enough, he nonchalantly mentioned that we needed to create two key characters that will keep the audience biting their nails and edging out of their seats. (Phew!)Who could have argued with him? Looking back at the story development sessions, bouncing off ideas, chiseling out flak, writing and rewriting and exchanging scripts late through the nights, one thing stood out- there was no giving the NLAG audience a rerun of an age-old story that they had already grown fond of. If worked meticulously, heart-wrenching stories can still be birthed again. Isn’t our own God specializing in it as well? Every day, doesn’t he paint a new face with the every baby he brings into the world? Every one of his creation bespeaks a unique story of its own, doesn’t it?
Go on, read some trivia on the thoughts and inspirations that guided us through this project!
Zealots, we’ve heard. But who are the Sicarris?
The Zealot angle is a clichéd one, so we wanted to take it one step further. Reading articles about the Zealots revealed a very startling fact- about the Sicarris. These guys were Jewish fanatics who were like the ‘contract killers of today. They would do just anything, if something stood in the way of their Jewish freedom- kill, murder, burn down or even assassinate key leaders. They were a sore in the eyes of Romans and history records revolts and revolutionary acts carried out by these dagger-carriers. You can read bout them in the internet. It’s a factual backdrop that we borrowed from. Bartimaeus, being our hero needed to have a colorful personality and depth of character. So we fleshed him out on the Sicarri personality. This is not a Biblical correlation, and we would like our audience to take time to read the Bible for the authentic version. Ours was only a creative speculation and does have any factual conclusion supporting it.
Wikipedia Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sicarii
MESHULLAM- Why that name?
The trick was to come up with a name that the audience can quickly fall in love with. Easy to pronounce. Easy to remember. And at the same time having some “staying power” throughout the play without sounding lack-lustrous as it progressed. And we were keen not use any prominent Biblical character names that the audience is familiar with. That could have caused ‘Character conflicts’ when the audience is watching the play.
And an interesting lesson that we learnt while figuring out the names is that Hebrew names had gender distinctions…so you cannot choose names like …Adva, Malka, Toiba, etc., inspite of the mystic value they possess as they are feminine names. We are glad that we choose Meshullam, it really shouldered the strength of the character.
[Watch Meshullam’s Introduction of himself at the 23.10th minute in the Video]
What’s with the “the road to Jericho” references?
It’s a pivotal place during the time of Jesus. Even Jesus mentions about it in the parable for the Good Samaritan. It’s sometime filled with dacoits and trouble makers and traveling alone could be dangerous unless you are used to it. They say, that it is about 18 miles and would take a day’s worth of walking. It’s on this road that Bartimaeus get healed. So we wanted to emphasize the setting a little and create a sense of significance from a dramatic stand point. This is what led to the narrative portion that says,” He lost his eyes here, he lost his friend here. He lost his way too. How will he ever forget the Jericho road?” Such reminiscing are a writer’s delight.
GAIUS CASSIUS- Did he really exist?
You never know, men like Gaius Cassius could have existed. Maybe not with the same name. But they sure should have. Our inspiration came from one of the brutal soldiers in the Movie – the Passion of the Christ. ‘Think it was the actor - Dario D'Ambrosi who portrayed it. Our Gaius Cassius was modeled after him and our artist was good in his own way- specially the craning of the neck (Watch the scene at 26:25th Minute). That was a real show stealer.