Glenwood’s fresh take on Easter
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado At first, it was hard to tell just what was going on. It was rehearsal at the New Creation Church, and it was the middle of the play, and everyone was still in their street clothes. Two dozen actors were tumbling, leaping their way across the stage. Heavy music was playing in the background, a British voice narrating all the happenings.Slowly, the plot became clear. This is Toyland, a mythical place, peopled by the Toymakers creations. Upon closer attention, the characters represent Jesus, God, even Judas. Its an obvious Easter allegory in mime.This is our gift to the community, explained director Ruth Mollman.The lack of words, the music and the big cast all drew to her the show, she said. An internationally-produced play, the piece has copy-written movements, for which Mollman had to bring in a specialist to help teach. Yet, to her, that seemed to be all part of the excitement. Allegory, she explained, makes it simpler for an audience to understand the true meaning of the story. Adding a silent tangle of toys gives a fun twist to something so old.When they (the actors) have to express themselves with their faces and their hands and their feet, it takes more, she said.As the show played on, frothy scenes turned to dark ones; exaggerated, happy faces went sad. Mollman kept yelling out encouragement and direction to all the actors. With several teenagers and four family groups involved, the 25-person cast is by far her biggest yet, she explained.Its good, she said, of the size. Its really good. It creates a lot of energy. I need a megaphone, but other than that, its good.During a break, many of her actors seemed to feel the same upbeat atmosphere.The Spanish Doll, aka Dania LaGiglia, 14, has been in about a dozen shows as a dancer, but this is her first with the church. For her, it means a chance to do more than just smile and dance on stage. Shes able to stretch herself, to help tell a story she finds important.Its really awesome to use my talents, she said, to show people that there is an ever-loving God.For the Thad (the Cowboy Doll) and Sheila (an angel) Bartley, it fells like homecoming to theater which originally brought them together. The pair met 15 years ago in drama group in Hutchison. Back then, the troupe went to see Toymaker together. Now the couple is sharing it with their daughter, too. Megan, 12, plays a Ted, a bad toy.The cast, they have to biggest hearts, Sheila said. Because of their hearts, it makes them professionals.This show is powerful, added Thad, and its something hes happy to share. To him, Jesus life, his death, his messages, were all a plan from God.He did it to restore us, he said.Back off stage, Mollman was trying to corral everyone again. She was speaking with Kelly Carl, mother to the China Doll (Rehea Diedrich, 12) when Mollman was asked for some final thoughts on the show.We always try to put on something excellent, she explained. And this is no exception. Then Carl cut in, happily answering, too.Because for a silent play, it speaks volumes! she said.And Mollman nodded, congratulating her that perfect reply.Contact Stina Sieg: firstname.lastname@example.org
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