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.

Morbidman is coming to Jeffersonville!

On Sunday April 23, Power Ministries presents a night of super heroes and villains in the hilarious play, Morbidman Meets His Maker, at Eastside Christian Church in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

Terminus City is ground zero in a never-ending conflict between good and evil as Morbidman, Everyman, and the Master of the Obvious do battle with his arch-enemy, Dr. Insidious. But the battle takes a strange turn when Everyman flies through a wall and discovers an audience watching their every move.

At first, the heroes think nothing of the spectators and use the secret “portal” into another world to try and gain the advantage on their foes, but soon, other characters discover the theater full of people, and new questions arise. “Are we really fictional characters? If so, who created us? And why?”

Morbidman Meets His Maker is written and directed by John Cosper of Righteous Insanity and presented by Power Ministries. Admission is free, and a love offering will be taken to support the work of Power Ministries. For more information, please visit the Morbidman event page on Facebook.

Power Ministries is a non-profit ministry based in New Albany, Indiana that has been serving people with disabilities for more than thirty years through their “Handi-Camp” programs and other special events. For more infomation on Power Ministries, please visit www.powerministries.org

Free Skit – No Body

Lent starts Wednesday. Easter is coming. Here’s one of my favorite skits for Resurrection Sunday!

No Body
By John Cosper
www.righteousinsanity.com

THEME: Easter

CHARACTERS
Hazel, Chuck, and Larry- Church drama folks

Hazel and Chuck set a “slab” on stage. Chuck puts the burial clothes on the slab as Larry enters. Chuck stands upstage of the other two, watching their dialogue with increased stress and confusion as it escalates.

LARRY: Okay, Hazel, we’re almost ready to do the resurrection sketch. The pastor asked me to make sure everything’s ready inside Jesus’s tomb. How we lookin’?
HAZEL: We’re just about ready, Larry. Lighting is set.
LARRY: Good.
HAZEL: The stone slab is finally painted and ready.
LARRY: Good, good.
HAZEL: Burial cloths in place. We’re good to go.
LARRY: No we’re not. We’re missing something important here.
HAZEL: What are we missing?
LARRY: There’s no body.
HAZEL: What?
LARRY: There’s no body here!
HAZEL: No, but there will be in a few minutes.
LARRY: There will?
HAZEL: Mary Magdalene and the other women, Peter and John…
LARRY: That’s it?
HAZEL: That’s everybody.
LARRY: Aren’t you missing somebody?
HAZEL: Which somebody?
LARRY: Which somebody do you think??
HAZEL: I can’t think of anybody.
LARRY: (points to the slab) Hazel, there’s no body here!
HAZEL: I know there’s no body there!
LARRY: Then get the body!
HAZEL: We don’t have any body!
LARRY: We need some body!
HAZEL: There’s no body!
LARRY: What do you mean there’s no body?
HAZEL: Because nobody was there when everybody came to the tomb.
LARRY: You mean when everybody came looking for somebody, there was nobody?
HAZEL: Yes! When everybody came looking for somebody they didn’t find anybody because no body was there!
LARRY: So there’s no body in the tomb.
HAZEL: Because somebody let him out.
CHUCK: I thought somebody was in the tomb.
LARRY: Did anybody see him?
HAZEL: Yes they did.
CHUCK: Who’s anybody?
LARRY: What happened when they saw him?
HAZEL: They told everybody.
CHUCK: I thought everybody knew already!
LARRY: They told everybody?
HAZEL: Everybody and anybody!
Chuck throws his arms up in anguish.
CHUCK: I’m so confused!

Chuck runs off stage. The silliness stops for a few lines to drive the message home.

LARRY: But there was someone in the tomb. Right?
HAZEL: Jesus was in the tomb. He died on the cross on Good Friday to take the punishment for our sins. He was buried and sealed in a tomb that same day. Then on Sunday, he rose from the grave. Because Jesus lives, we can have forgiveness for our sins and eternal life.
LARRY: Who can have eternal life?
HAZEL: Anybody!
LARRY: Oh no, let’s not start that again!

Here I Go Again

It’s been six years since I directed anything on stage. When I left Christian Academy of Indiana after five years, I knew I would have to return one day. It wasn’t because I missed it; I haven’t. I’ve enjoyed watching my kids grow up and do their things. It wasn’t because I still believe theater is my destiny. Not sure I ever believed that. No, I knew I had to come back because so help me, I could not go to the grave with Annie being the last play I ever directed.

So here I am. Six years later, as I start this new blog, I am directing one of my own, Morbidman Meets His Maker. I’ve never directed this play, but I’ve always wanted to. I’ve got a solid cast that’s been in rehearsals for two months now. We’re just waiting for the powers that be to tell us where and when the play will happen.

(The play is going to be a dinner theater fundraiser for my friends at Power Ministries. One night only, but we also plan to do the show for the good folks at Eastside Christian Church as a “thank you” for letting us use their space to rehearse.)

I am having fun with old friends and new. The cast includes three former Dramamaniacs, two of my students from Christian Academy, four former New Albany High School Marching Band members, and two (soon to be three) professional wrestlers.

There are people at all levels of experience in the group, but there are no egos or attitudes. Everyone’s getting along, and everyone is having a good time. I’ve always fostered an atmosphere of collaboration on plays as it is, and everyone has taken full advantage of the opportunity to pitch ideas, try new things, and be ridiculously silly.

I’m sure there will be more on the play here as it comes along. For now, just wanted to say hello, tell you what’s going on, and officially begin a new Righteous Insanity blog.

So help me… here I go again.