Monday, November 15/28, 2016
First Day of the Nativity Fast
Commencement of Advent in the Orthodox Church
It has been a New Year’s resolution of my oldest daughter since she saw her first show three years ago: To act and sing in a production of New Life Fine Arts out of Concord, MA. What she saw in Ebezener Scrooge: A Christmas Carol sparked her imagination while deepening her understanding of this literary character’s repentance. Now that three of us have been blessed to be chosen as cast members in this year’s production, it has allowed us an even more intimate acquaintance with NLFA’s uniquely spiritual approach to musical theatre.
Besides the work of NLFA, the New York based Fellowship of the Performing Arts has been turning out quality theatre for the past few decade or so. Founder, Actor and Artistic Director Max McLean has been taking many of the imaginative pieces by C.S. Lewis and adapting them for the stage. My wife and I saw their first production of Screwtape Letters several years ago. Since then, they have developed a stage play for The Great Divorce, The Reluctant Convert (about the life of Lewis), and now, in time for the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, a play entitled Luther on Trial (which I hope to see later on in January in case anyone out there cares to join me). Each of McLean’s work represents the best in Broadway quality with a deeper, more spiritual content. Instead of wallowing in the perversely interesting depths of human depravity, these shows attempt to revel in redemption, the much more difficult (and Christian) story of good rising up from evil.
If you are local to any of these performances, I urge you to avail yourselves of their message. For unlike the temporary thrills of the world which pass in a moment, the eternal story of theatre you can believe in will transport one to a land of joy which grows not old. A blessed Advent to all as we eagerly await the birth of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ, at his Nativity in human flesh.
The Screwtape Letters is one of my favourite books… fascinating psychological insights….