I love involving others in my readings and presentations. The stories come across more vividly and effectively when others join me—I always play the part of Rose—to portray her people. I was afraid, though, that this dramatic element might not be possible on tour because my “road show,” entitled “Advent Readings from Sunday by Sunday,” didn’t get put together until the last minute. With the first Sunday in Advent less than a week away, I almost gave up on the idea of recruiting actors. But through prayer and meditation, I was guided and energized to give it the old college try.
Yikes. I quickly contacted my “handler” at each venue to request volunteers and emailed the “scripts” so that those portraying Mindy, Pastor Sauer, Jim and Anita from next door, Stephanie Rose and others would have time to review. In 4 out of 5 cases, everything came together and drama happened!
We hit the jackpot for the premiere performance at Our Saviour Lutheran in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Their drama team responded enthusiastically and was joined by my sis and her husband as Anita and Jim (as mentioned in “Book Tour 2011—Serendipity”). Smashing performances! The stories and characters came to life in this place—and then in other settings—as evidenced in audience laughter, silent reflection, and even spontaneous participation with sound effects and commentary. What fun!
“I must be Sarah or Elizabeth from the Bible,” quipped an 80-something actress taking the part of the pregnant Anita. The character Chelsea from book III, a wide-eyed 5-year-old, was movingly interpreted by people of all ages, including an 11-year-old. And an interesting and amusing layer was laid on when a pastor most ably took on the role of Jim, skeptic atheist.
I read all the parts myself, when necessary, but, as you can easily imagine, the experience is vastly enhanced by people willing to step onto the stage. How very grateful I am to each and every one of them.