1.08.2015

Live Animal Christmas Play 2014 Recap!

This is one of the hardest posts of all for me to do, because I have no idea how to properly recap this incredible event into one little post. How can I explain to you the camaraderie, the fellowship, the intense one-accord power of Jesus that went into making this all happen? Its one of those things that you can't really describe, except to say that it was totally God and ALL of the honor + glory goes directly to Him. The blessing of being used in a tiny little way to share the gospel through this production was so great. It has drawn our church family together and knit our hearts and lives together so closely, every year. 
Below are a few photos taken by my brother with his phone, and then also a few from the 400+ the church received from the professional photographer who photographed the play.
It is so hard to know where to start with this post! So I will begin with a picture of "the bearded men of Marion Avenue", all the men who grew beards for the play. =) If it would've been an actual contest for the biggest beard I'm pretty sure my father would've won. =)
Allison worked on the hair crew this year. She did a beautiful job doing hair on several of the first scene women. Here she is, hard at work before a showing!
The hair + makeup room was always a scene of MUCH activity + hustling!
Allison giving me a hair style touch-up in between showings.
We had so much fun backstage, while we were waiting for the curtain to open. The crowd would've probably been shocked to know that there were twelve people having a party behind that curtain. We were quite the gang. =)
First scene ladies!
Josh, Mitchell, and I were in the first scene together. I loved acting with my brothers!
Crazy time!
Carson was on the backstage crew. These people were responsible for switching out props + stages. They did a fabulous job!

{the one picture we failed to get was of Mom, Taylor, & Hudson. They were the "greeting crew" who met people at the door + served them cookies, candy canes, and hot chocolate as they were waiting in line for each next showing.}

Meet Mr. Christmas, descending from the ceiling!

The play started out with Mr. Christmas, introducing everyone to the theme of the play, "A Season of Hope".
At the beginning of the play, we had a "flashback" to the Harvard Family, the opening scene family from last year's play. In this year's play (2014), the little boy Davy (center) had grown up, gotten married, and had a daughter. Then he had died on Christmas Eve years later...and now this year's opening scene was introducing his wife, Alice, and their daughter, Margaret, pictured below.
I (Chelsy) played the part of Margaret, and in the opening scene I was trying to remind my mother of the true meaning of Christmas, the HOPE of Christmas. She was broken-hearted and grown bitter over her husband's death on Christmas Eve two years earlier, and since then she had wanted nothing to do with Christmas or anything that would remind her of him.
In an effort to cheer her mother and bring Christmas joy back, Margaret had invited over a group of her friends from the university, to surprise her mother by decorating the old house and having a big Christmas party.
(see Mitchell above, unloading presents for the party)

Unfortunately her mother was outraged at all the decorations and attempts to encourage her to celebrate Christmas again.
Margaret and her friends sang and performed a fully choreographed rendition of the carol, "Hark the Herald Angels Sing".
The song was ended with a grand finale of lights and confetti!!

Margaret and her mother Alice transitioned to the "parlor room" side stage where Alice began to soften as, together, mother and daughter reminisced about the Christmas story.....
Our very own Allison appeared again in the angel/prophets scene as the flying violinist angel. =)
The angel band song with the angel & prophets choir was BEAUTIFUL. Literally I got chills down my spine just listening to it!
Rebecca was one of Mary's little siblings and she appeared in her scene riding a donkey. This year she didn't get bucked off at all! Elizabeth was also a sibling although you can't see her in the picture. She carried a baby goat. A very adventurous baby goat, I might add. We were all grateful that she is a farm girl and as such is used to animals and the things animals do at times. =) 
Mary with her mother.
The angel Gabriel appearing to Mary. 
(this was the first year that we had a male angel in the play)
The market scene (Josh & Taylor both acted in this scene), 
where all was bustle, busy-ness, and then....
...trouble!!
(the "wicked" actor set outdid themselves this year!)
Dad was on of the pharisees in the market scene. He did an INCREDIBLE job-pretty sure that all of us children who love acting got the gene from him. =)
(Joshua was one of the actors in the market scene...far left)
Our friends the Garraways once again played Joseph + Mary. They did an AMAZING job! Their first song, "Surrender", was my favorite song of the entire play.
The tax collector scene...was the comic relief of the entire play. The above picture says it all! 
It only made the whole thing funnier that this pig was an extremely VOCAL pig and lifted up its voice and squealed LOUDLY during the scene. =)
There were two old maids who were desperate to get married and they gave the audience lots of laughs!
On their way to find an inn...
One of the wiremen, entering on a real, live camel!
(here is Mitchell again, as a wiseman carrier)
the wisemen, conferring with each other.
Another song, "Beautiful Surprise", sung by our pastors wife and her parents.
The manger scene, complete with shepherds, wiseman, townspeople, Joseph, Mary, + baby Jesus, and a whole host of animals.
The Herod/palace scene
Allison (not an angel this time!) was brought in after her beating, looking very bloody and bruised. (thanks to our AWESOME team in the makeup department!)
She was the innkeeper in whose stable baby Jesus was born, and she was beaten as they were trying to get information out of her to tell them where the baby was.
being commissioned by the senators before leaving to kill all the baby boys in the land. (Josh was a scribe in this scene and you can see him just a bit at the far right side)
The Roman soldiers, coming in to carry out the massacre.
Pilate before the mob. (Denver is the servant up there, pouring the water that Pilate uses to wash his hands)
Dad was one of the men who led the mob at the crucifixion. {His beard was partially dyed grey to make him appear older as the crucifixion was obviously years after the beginning scene which had been before Jesus was even born} Mitchell, Allison, & Joshua were also actors in the mob.
This year the crucifixion was displayed using a scrim (a thin screen-type curtain) through which the crosses and men on them still showed without being super clear.
After the earthquake at the crucifixion, the centurion says "this truly was the Son of God".
burying the body of Jesus

Joseph of Aramethea, declaring his belief that the grave would not be able to hold Jesus.
The Roman soldiers' vigil at the tomb.
the best part of ALL!!
In this scene, the disciples come and discover that Jesus has risen!
Then the  disciples sang the first verse of this beautiful song, which was our ending theme song.
The play also ended with the centurion (also older now and grey) getting saved after he realized his need for Jesus!
Mr. Christmas closing out his part by sharing John 3:16
The whole choir ending in song together.
Our pastor sharing the plan of salvation at the end. 
This was the greatest thing of all---the fact that throughout the weekend and six different showings, there were  400+ souls that trusted Christ for salvation!
The Bontrager violinists, playing "Joy to the World" for the offertory at the end of each showing.
Rebecca =)
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There were so many more scenes + pictures that I am not able to share for lack of time and space. However, here are two little "highlights" video clips that were put together of a bit of the video footage from the play. Enjoy! =)
TO GOD BE THE GLORY, GREAT THINGS HE HAS DONE!!


{posted by chelsy}

8 comments:

  1. This is amazing!
    In Christ,
    Lexi

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  2. Wow...Chels, this post was AMAZING!!! Thank you SO MUCH for posting the pictures and recap. The LACP sounds like such an incredible opportunity to share the story of Jesus Christ and his "unspeakable gift" in a vivid manner. Wish we lived closer so we could've come and seen it!!!

    Blessings!

    P.S Love Denver's servant outfit=) And...your hat??!! #loveit:)

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  3. Since we weren't able to come *cue sadness*, this is the next best thing! Thank you so much for sharing, Chelsy. The play looks once-again-incredible. Such excellence + diligence poured into it and praise the Lord for lives changed and what He did through the production! The picture of Rebecca playing her violin has to be one of my favorites - her determined focus is priceless.:) We're missing + praying for you guys!

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  4. Aww, so neat! Wow, these recaps always leave me so awe-inspired! This play must be so very EPIC! Chels, your costume was just beautiful (tho you and Alli look beautiful no matter what you're wearing!).
    Thanks for sharing these!
    Ali

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  5. Beautiful pictures--it looks like it was a very special time for you and your church family.

    By the way, I noticed that "wisemen" is repeatedly spelled "wiremen". I thought you might want to know. :)

    My mom (Beverly) really enjoyed meeting Mrs. Bontrager at Nationals, and we hope to see you next year!

    Joy M.

    P.S. You don't have to publish this comment if you don't want to.:)

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  6. Such great post and wow over 410 people trusted God now that is a really huge amount of inpacked an over 3,750 went wow that a really amazing to an lol the pig how it squealed really loud now is just so funny and cute love the pics an the vids at the end too and when are u guys going to be posting ur full tour schedule????
    Love Ashley Evans hugs lov u guys an God bless u guys=)

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  7. Hey!!!
    this looks really great wish we could have come seen it!! have you guys heard of THE THORN at all. It is really great!! It is a live stage play and has lots of cool stunts and other things like fire. It is about the crusifiction of jesus. The first Half is great for the whole family but the second half gets a little scarry and looks VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY ( i can not express that enough) realistic! But of course it is lighting,makeup and very great acting. you guys should have your dad look it up to see if you guys would like it. It was actually when I came to Christ. I realy loved it . you guys should see if it come close to you guys.(IT TOURS)















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  8. You guys should see the thorn !! it is really great it is about the crusifiction ofjesus christ. it is AMAZING

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