How Drama (Theater) & Christianity Work Together - Hannah-Beth Kline

Student Hannah-Beth Kline shares her story on why the true value of drama (theater) lies not within the script or the praise of the audience, but in how it refines us as individuals, as a family, and as Christians.
Refresh. Refresh. Refresh– my finger clicked the mouse with an obsessive rhythm. Refreshing the screen yet again, my eyes stared unswervingly at the monitor, searching it hungrily. On a nearby desk, homework assignments pleaded for my attention, but I did not care. At the moment, this was more important! Refresh. Refresh. Re.. WAIT! STOP! There it was!

After waiting forever, it was finally posted – the cast list for our next theater production. Exploding with tweets, dings, and buzzes, my phone relayed the sudden flood of text messages. They each heralded the same announcement: “IT’S UP! CHECK CONNECT! IT’S UP!” An electric wave of anticipation raced down my spine as I hastily clicked the link. “Loading: 1%” I waited. “Loading: 5%” I squeezed my eyes tight, praying that I got the part. I peeked at the screen. “Loading: 6%” I slid huffily off my seat, unable to take the stress. Then it hit me.

Preparing for one theater production requires four months of serious dedication. Every student memorizes anywhere between ten and fifty lines per show. Courage, commitment, and character are poured into every rehearsal. And for what? Two hours of stage time accompanied by eight hours of back-stage chaos. I peered at the screen “Loading: 12%.” Was all of this really worth it? What quality does drama have that makes students embrace the same seasons of stress year after year? Why does drama matter?

While I could easily fill ten Harry-Potter-sized novels with the reasons drama matters, for time’s sake, I will only list the top three. As you read the hectic introduction, you discovered reason number one: proving yourself.

From audition day to performance night, drama requires selfless abandon. Regardless of your fear, doubt, or speculation, stepping on stage means performing every line to the best of your ability. While occasionally stressful, this character-defining discipline humbles your heart, strengthens your mind, and reignites your passion for life.

Reason number two: loving your neighbor. Plays do not individualize actors. Rather, they showcase the exceptional talent of an intricately crafted cast. We are not so much a team, but a family.  Because we must pour so much personality into our roles to make them authentic, we consequently witness the true identity of our peers.

Our shared victories, our common defeats – they provide the foundation for unforgettable, if not unbreakable, friendships.

Reason number three: strengthening your faith. Most people mistake the stage as a pedestal of praise for me, myself, and I. In reality, every aspect of drama points exclusively to God. With every cast list, we surrender to His will. With every rehearsal, we rely upon His strength. With every show, we point to His providence. He is the light: we are mere beacons.

The true value of drama lies not within the script or the praise of the audience, but in how it refines us as individuals, as a family, and as Christians.
                 
My meditative reflection was suddenly shattered by an ear-splitting BONG from my computer. Turning down the volume, I glanced at the screen. “Loading: 100%” I paused, realizing that opening this document was equivalent to opening new floodgates. Again I would be inundated by stress and excitement. Again I would challenge myself to exceed the limits of my strength.

Again I would dive into the chaotic adventure of a new production.  Was it worth it? Yes. Forever and always yes. Opening the document, I felt my heart grow warm with contented pleasure. I was ready. Let the show begin!
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  • Stacey Bunn
    Dear Sweet Hannah-Beth, This was so brilliantly written and full of joy and excitement! Thank you for your never ending smile and the love that you convey with even the simplest greeting. Your love for Jesus overflows you completely and is very evident to everyone around you! God Bless you in your senior year and I look forward to seeing you in the next drama! :-)