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New Year, New Writers

Righteous Insanity is going to be bringing more amazing resources to the web this year, thanks to the help of some old friends.

Giavanna Signorelli was a student of mine going back to my days with the Dramamaniacs at Northside Christian Church in New Albany. Almost 20 years after we first met at church, we were reunited through an independent film group in Evansville, Indiana. Giavanna is currently writing the second series of our video Bible study Desperately Seeking. She’s also playing a featured role in my upcoming stage production of Morbidman Returns.

Jack and Gretchen Hall were the brains behind the infamous Christian drama site, Sunday School Dropouts. Jack and Gretchen love slaughtering sacred cows and stepping on toes, and the time has come to bring their sense of sarcasm and dark humor back to the web. Look for their posts weekly on the front page as the bring back classics like The Crap Skit, The Christian Person Who Sings Good But We Do Not Idolize Them, and A Hole in The Head.

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Morbidman Returns June 15-16!

No, Morbidman is not coming back to Southern Indiana – yet. But the sequel to Morbidman Meets His Maker will be presented in McDonough, Georgia next month by those crazy kids who drove all the way up to see my production last month.

If you’re in the Atlanta area, please mark your calendar and head to Trinity Chapel South to support these kids as they raise money for their mission trip. It’s a fun treat for the whole family and anyone who loves a good spin on the super hero genre.

And you might just see some of my crew there as well.

Words can’t say how much I love, love, love the poster. Can’t wait to see what these kids do with Morbidman Returns!

The Morbidman plays are available exclusively from Righteous Insanity. Click here to learn more.

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What I Missed

Morbidman Meet His Maker is now 12 days It had been six years since I last directed a play. It had been even longer, about twelve years, since I produced something of my own, a Righteous Insanity script specifically for ministry and not a school theater production. I left my last directing gig because I had a 3 year old starting soccer. She and her brother were starting to get big enough to do their own thing, and I didn’t want to miss out because I was busy directing other kids.

I honestly didn’t miss¬†directing much.

I didn’t miss casting. It’s a real pain.

I didn’t miss scheduling rehearsals. That’s another whole type of pain.

I didn’t miss worrying about costumes or props.¬†Actually, I learned to delegate those duties before I left directing, and they were the first two things I delegated when I started rehearsals this time around. (Thanks, Shelby and Gia!)

Here’s what I did miss.

I missed the complete freedom that comes with directing your own material. I’m not going to pretend I’m the best director because I’m not. My skill is in my writing, and when I’m directing my own stuff, I can’t help tinkering. I gave my cast total freedom to play and tinker and improv as well, and collaboratively, the play became something far greater and funner than anything I would have done alone.

And that brings me to the thing I missed most: the community that only comes with producing a play. The cast we assembled was a series of happy accidents. They all came to play. They left egos at the door. They worked hard, and best of all, they really truly loved each other. Matter of fact the group text that began last fall is still going. They’re talking about doing the sequel. They’re also just talking about life because they miss one another.

That’s the best thing about doing drama as ministry. You, your cast, your crew, you become community. You become a family tighter than mere casual relationships who worship together. Some of my best friends, life long friends, started on a stage in one place or another. Much of this cast was made of people I worked with on stage, and now they’ve formed bonds of their own. There’s nothing like it, and for Christians, working together to do theater that can connect with people, that’s a very good thing.

If I never do another one, I’ll be happy. I couldn’t say that before because before, the last play I did was Annie. I hate Annie. But I am pretty darn sure this wasn’t the last, and it likely wasn’t the last with this crew.

Have a good summer, gang. We’ll put the band back together in the fall.

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Lots of “Morbid” Stuff

It’s been over two weeks since I’ve posted, and there’s a good reason. Morbidman Meets His Maker was on Sunday in Jeffersonville, Indiana, and I’m relieved to say it went very well. This was my first show in six years, and the cast was an eclectic mix from my past, including former Dramamaniacs (my first drama group at Northside Christian Church, 1993-1998), Christian Academy of Indiana (where I led after school drama from, 2007-2011), and even the New Albany High School Marching Band.

This was also my first return to ministry-oriented theater. In other words, it’s the first time in almost 12 years that I was directing my own Christian-themed play instead of destroying a prized part of the theater history.

I’ve always encouraged collaboration and improv when directing, and the cast made their own contributions to the play, many of which are now in the “official” script available for purchase right here. So when you purchase the Morbidman plays package, you’re getting the latest and greatest edition with all the funny bits that made the play even better.

What’s more, I created a new group on Facebook just for Morbidman enthusiasts, a place to share photos, stories, and ideas for producing the Morbidman series. Ours was just one of three productions (that I know of) taking place this spring, and it seems after 16 years, Morbidman and the gang are starting to develop a (forgive the use of the term, fundies) “cult” following! You can join Morbidman’s “Secret Lair” by clicking here.

I’m also planning to spend a lot more time on this blog and any place else I can contribute to helping Christian drama folks do what they do. We had a youth group drive up from Atlanta this weekend, a group about to perform Morbidman Returns, and seeing their enthusiasm has reawakened my own passion for drama ministry. I’ll be honest, after 23 years, it’s hard to keep that enthusiasm alive, especially when I have so many other irons in the fire. But this particular fire has been stoked, and I hope to once again be more proactive in helping people draw others to Jesus through drama.