Friday, May 4, 2018

The Play is the Thing, Part 2

Graphic Design by Brian Overholt

Previously, on The Fifth Sola...

In the fall of 2016, I embarked on a playwriting adventure. I decided to write a historical play set in Nazi Germany and centered around the Confessing Church. I got the first draft finished just in time, and the reading happened on schedule with a complete play.

And now, the conclusion...

That was just the draft. Over the summer, I made arrangements to have the play workshopped again. I thought it wise to do so, now that I finally had a completed draft, and my local community theater group, Mask & Mirror, graciously agreed to help me with my revisions.

I let the rest of June and most of July pass without even looking at the play; I figured a little distance might be a good idea before jumping into revisions. When the community theater workshops started, I was ready to dig in again.

The cast of my Mask & Mirror workshop did a wonderful job giving me feedback on the play and their characters. I knew Anja's character arc needed some work, for example,* and there were a few scenes I knew needed major rewriting or throwing out, but I wasn't sure how to tackle those things. Hearing the play read aloud again week after week as I made my revisions, and seeing what the actors were getting from the words on the page were a huge help. We also had my friend Kimberly playing piano so the actors could actually sing the hymn excerpts this time, which was a big plus. Many thanks to Mask & Mirror and everyone involved in the workshop, and to the Tualatin Heritage Center for letting us use their space to meet in.

At the end of a 7-week workshop with the theater company, we had a staged reading - the play's second. It was awesome - we had more people show up than expected, so we actually had to put out extra chairs! Several of those in attendance were staff members from my church.** They went to work the next day and apparently talked about it at staff meeting; when they broke for lunch, my pastor asked for a copy of the play manuscript to read. As soon as he'd read it, he proposed that we produce it there at the church, which brings me full circle back to this: Next week rehearsals for my first ever full-length play begin. Is this real life??

Rehearsals start Monday with a table reading and I'm obviously very excited. I'm also realizing I'm a little behind getting my promotional materials ready, so I'm scrambling a bit in that area, which means Brian, whose many hats include being our graphic designer at church, is also scrambling on my behalf. (Yay for a supportive church staff!)

I'll be posting more about the play later, like how we went about casting it, etc., but that's the story of how this whole thing came to be. :)

*It was more of a squiggle than an arc in the first draft.

**I work in the church office, so...


  1. When do tickets go on sale or become available? I will definitely be at the Saturday showing. I have tickets to Third Day's farewell tour on Friday night, so can't make that showing. :) Can't wait! I'd also like to share info with my church as I'm sure there are members of my church who would be interested in attending.

    1. They'll be available soon! I'll keep you posted, and I would LOVE for you to spread the word at your church. Thank you!!