by Kathryn Vernon
My nerdy, theatre heart loves this recent surge of movie musicals! It started back in 2007 when John Travolta agreed to do Hairspray. Since then we’ve seen Hugh Jackman in Les Miserables, Anna Kendrick in The Last Five Years, and even awarded La La Land five Academy Awards. For me, theatre has always felt like magic!
Eager to be a part of the magic, I wholeheartedly agreed to co-direct Shrek with our talented PHPC youth. Turns out, putting on a musical is a huge undertaking. You have to hold auditions, organize musicians, create costumes, design and build a set, not to mention block scenes, choreograph dance numbers, and memorize all those lines! From a very young age, I have been involved in lots of theatre in different capacities and in every show with which I have participated, there comes a moment - a sort of tipping point - where it all feels like too much. We’re too far behind, it’s running too long, there’s just too much left to accomplish. Most recently, I experienced those same exasperations with Shrek. Just days before opening night I found myself finalizing script changes, organizing set directions, and splicing music tracks. How in the world were we going to create magic if these pieces were not all perfectly in place? The answer, it turns out, is very simple. The magic was in those kids all along.
What a comforting realization! How amazing to look, in wonder, to the God who fills us all with magic! So often we look for opportunities to lift up and inspire our youth. We encourage them to take chances in the hope that one might light a spark, might set their hearts on fire! That magic - that fire in our hearts - I believe is the Holy Spirit pouring God’s light and love out through us. As an (almost!) 34-year-old, I certainly feel the pressure to “adult.” Spending three months co-directing a musical might not seem, on paper, like the best use of my time. Let me assure you, though, that basking in the light of our Lord shining out of those youth as they sang, danced and preached the gospel of being fearfully and wonderfully made - it set my heart on fire!
To share your gifts with our Youth Ministry, contact Rev. Sarah Are at or 214.368.6348 ext 143.