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.