Glenn called his brother and asked if he could perform his play. Over the next seven years he performed the one-man adaptation of “Paul the Apostle” for over 260 audiences, and on the Prime Time Television Network, which broadcasts in 168 countries to over 2 million households around the world.
In 2002 the Polk brothers and their wives once again formed a partnership. Their goal was to build two theaters side-by-side. One would be an outdoor amphitheater, where the musical “Ragtown” would be staged. The other would be Ragtown Gospel Theater, where they would produce shows year round, coupling a Gospel music concert with Gospel drama productions.
In 2007 they opened Ragtown Gospel Theater with the premier of Chip’s second biblical drama. It was Glenn Polk in a gripping one-man-show called “Peter the Rock.” Over 5,000 people attended that production. Since the theater opened in January 2007, Glenn has directed every one of the productions staged at Ragtown, and played a leading role in most. Twila has served as her husband’s assistant director of each production.
Twila also recruits and coordinates the family of committed volunteers who have become such a vital part of the Ragtown experience. She has nurtured and grown that family to well over 50 individuals that have been drawn to join the Polks in their mission to convey the Gospel through drama, music, and the arts. Without the dedication and heart for the Lord that these men and women bring to the ministry, the theater would not have flourished as it has.
The logistics are daunting to have people in place to drive buses, direct traffic, handle concessions, ushering, and other duties required to provide the hospitality and trouble-free experience we hope to offer every audience. Since the entire staff at Ragtown is volunteer, Twila spends many hours coordinating schedules and assembling a team for each weekend’s performances. Fortunately, we are blessed with many wonderful people who are willing offer their free time any weekend their schedule permits. Twila works hard to put the teams together, but at the same time, God is busy drawing their hearts together with ours into this ministry. That continues to be one of the many Ragtown miracles for which we are most thankful and amazed.
Glenn and Twila have a son, Jason and a daughter, Amy. Both have performed in Ragtown Gospel Theater plays, as have their son-in-law, Steve Sever, and daughter-in-law, Tracy Polk. Amy played Mary, opposite her husband as the Apostle John when she performed the title role in Magdalene. More recently she was Ula Goiterflaven in “Say Nicklaus.” Glenn and Twila’s children have made significant financial contributions to Ragtown Gospel Theater, in addition to time and talent, to assure that the ministry flourishes.
Robin Polk designed the stunning theater that has been lauded as a landmark in Christian entertainment. Its awe-inspiring atmosphere, reminiscent of a Jerusalem plaza, prepares the heart of everyone who enters to fully experience the message shared through the music and drama.
In addition, Robin handles all reservations and ticket purchases, so most people who attend regularly have come to know her cheerful voice on the phone.
Audiences see Robin’s creativity as she continues to weave new touches of beauty and interest throughout the theater. All agree that the atmosphere is one of spiritual sanctuary. We who see Robin at work know that her artistry comes from a heart of humble dependence upon the Spirit, as she lovingly crafts every visual nuance with deep affection for the people the Lord brings to this place. Those first careful renderings of her plans, created at her drafting table, were the beginning of a never-ending quest to build Ragtown Gospel Theater into a place that would resonate the joy and freedom in Christ its productions would proclaim.
Chip performs in concert during the Ragtown productions. He formed the Ragtown Gospel Band in 2011, and until her recent marriage, the group included Chip and Robin’s daughter Jency. In the two years she sang with the group, Jency became an audience favorite. Her soulful voice and joyful presence on the stage became a special part of the music. She will continue to collaborate with her dad on music from her new home in near Washington. DC. , with plans to continue recording with the group, and returning for special concert appearances.
Chip Polk has now written a score of plays and musicals that Glenn Polk has directed and staged with the Ragtown troupe of actors. Of those works, many have been released as video productions, filmed and produced by Chip and Robin’s son, Jordan Polk. The videos of Ragtown Gospel Theater’s productions have been shipped throughout the United States, and to several locations in Canada, Europe, and Africa.
The popularity and success Ragtown Gospel Theater has enjoyed since opening in 2007, has been built and sustained almost entirely by the enthusiastic “word of mouth” advertising by people who have attended. We are so thankful for such amazing support.
The Ragtown Gospel Theater website (ragtown.com) is primary the way we communicate with our audience, and have managed to build greater awareness of the plays, concerts, videos, and recordings we produce, in order to support their efforts to get the message out.
In yet another example of the unique gifting for this mission that God has woven throughout the Polk family, Chip and Robin’s son, Jordan, has been the heart of that effort since the theater began. His website design and continual updating for the past six years, and now the recent launch of this exciting new site design has kept Ragtown Gospel Theater in touch with the people who love and support what the Lord is doing here.
The video presentations of Ragtown Gospel Theater’s productions have presented an opportunity to take the powerful message within each play to locations around the nation, and around the world.
Again, Jordan Polk has made that possible. In 2007 he began filming and editing the plays staged at Ragtown Gospel Theater. Jordan brings a relentless commitment to convey the experience of attending a live Ragtown performance to his production of each video. For every video produced, he devotes countless hours to carefully selecting camera shots from up to nine hours of video footage and sound recordings to faithfully capture the and portray the story.
The time and talent that Jordan contributes to the theater, both on the website and video productions, are of inestimable value, both in financially sustaining the theater, and in the outreach of the message.
This year we plan to launch a new initiative to provide Ragtown videos to missionaries, military installations overseas, and selected prison ministries, Through Jordan’s generous contribution to the ministry of Ragtown Gospel Theater, there is an opportunity to pursue a significant world-wide impact.