We opened our 35th production at Ragtown last weekend, and it was such a joy to hear all the comments as that first audience, all smiles, made their way to the door. The Lord gave us a special one here. The story of Elizabeth, Zacharias, and Mary, as related in the first chapter of Luke, was just a great opportunity to do what we always attempt to do in our productions—present biblical figures as real people, allowing us to get a glimpse of Jesus through their eyes.
I really love this play. I feel a little hesitant about saying that, since I wrote it, but the Lord was certainly in on it, I am thankful to say. And the words on the page are just one part. What each of the actors brings to the portrayal is what makes the people they play, and their story come to life. Every member of this special cast does that beautifully. The result is funny, sweet, real, and in all ways, authentically human.
The play is filled with opportunities to laugh. Glenn Polk’s inimitable Reverend Joey Hallelujah has nothing on Zacharias, as he attempts to communicate to his wife that an angel has spoken to him, telling him that she is to bear a son…then took away his voice when he scoffed at the possibility of such a thing.
At one point we see the tender young Mary, played by Rachel Butler being somewhat taken aback, and nervously amused by Elizabeth, whom Laura Bryan portrays perfectly, taking delight in some playful tormenting of her mute husband. After fifty years of marriage, she confides that she is secretly enjoying his inability to speak for a time. This woman who is in the middle of a miraculous pregnancy, and the mother of God’s prophet, is just like any other woman might be, whose husband has been vocally ruling the roost for fifty years.
Amid the laughter, however, we get to see what it truly must have been like for these women as they attempted to grasp what the Lord was doing in their lives. The sons they would bear were spoken of in ancient prophecies. An angel had come to deliver the news that these two would be born. They were to change the world, and yet there was no way for Elizabeth and Mary to comprehend what any of that that meant. All they could do was believe, and wonder why God had chosen them, among all the women on earth, for this extraordinary honor.
In the photo, Nathan Graves as the Archangel Gabriel, informs the priest, Zacharias, played by Glenn Polk, that he is to be a father. Once again, our amazing costumer, Tammy Caddell, has outdone herself.
Performances resume on July 8th, after the Independence Day holiday, and continue through August 27th. While you’re together with family and friends for the 4th, pick a date to come to Post soon and see Elizabeth & Mary…Joyful Expectations. You can expect to be joyfully entertained.
In the meantime….celebrate In Dependence!