Church musical depicts last days of Jesus

September 16, 1992|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Staff Writer

WESTMINSTER -- Bringing the story of Jesus' last days on Earth to Carroll, the First Assembly of God in Westminster is re-enacting his entrance to Jerusalem and the events leading up to the Ascension in the musical, "Who Will Call Him King?"

The play, written by First Assembly member Jan Hagedorn, will be presented at 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the church lawn behind Cranberry Mall in Westminster. Prior to each performance, church members will be serving refreshments at 5 p.m. and having a singing celebration at 6 p.m.

"We've had a couple of people writing the script, but Jan Hagedorn really brought the idea of doing this to our church," said Dirk Staubs, production organizer.

Mrs. Hagedorn is also directing the 90-minute production, he said.

The church attempted a similar project last year, but the spring rain and cold seemed to keep visitors away. "We really had mixed results, so we decided to try again this year," Mr. Staubs said.

The church is hoping for a better turnout this time and plans to make this a yearly event, focusing on different aspects of the days before the crucifixion.

For example, this production will follow Jesus' entry into Jerusalem, the Last Supper and the walk to Calvary, while next year's should include scenes with Pontius Pilate.

"The script will change from year to year, but we will use similar sets," Mr. Staubs said. "There are different aspects and other scenes we haven't even touched on, although you will always have the crucifixion and the resurrection."

The cast, primarily members of First Assembly of God, constitutes a considerable percentage of the congregation, Mr. Staubs said. "It's pretty close to half of the Sunday attendance," he said, adding that about 150 people are involved. "There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work that has to be done."

Casting was done by asking individual members if they wanted to participate. Mr. Staubs said, "This was very easy to put together. There's been a lot of cooperation."

Major parts, which called for solos, were given primarily to members of the choir.

"Almost every member of the choir was involved, so that was pretty easy, too," Mr. Staubs said. "We have a lot of music in our church, with excellent musicians and soloists, so finding people was not a problem for us."

The part of Jesus will be played by Roy Poole; Donna Haines will be Mary; and Dale McPherson will portray Joseph. Other main roles will include Mike Reese's portrayal of Peter and Tom Davis playing the centurion.

Mr. Staubs, Jill Brown, Shelly Kaltrider and Judy Staubs also have solos.

Sets were designed by church member Mark Haines and assembled primarily by the cast. However, several local businesses provided assistance with construction, Mr. Staubs said.

"An electrical contractor came in and wired all of the lighting for us, and another company supplied us with an earth-mover to build the tomb," he said, adding that business contacts were made through members who worked for or knew the company employees.

"The work for this hasn't just been members of the church," Mr. Staubs said.

However, the $8,000 to produce the play was raised by cast member contributions, he said.

Performances are free, although contributions will be accepted. The production will be interpreted for the deaf on Sept. 19. Rain dates are Sept. 25, 26 and 27.

Information: 848-8982.

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