Directing for the
Unable to stay out of the theatre, DIM
alumnus Michael Brunk is at it again. This
time, he's exploring new horizons working with World
Stage Ministries (www.worldstageministries.org)
on their production of The Singer
The play is an allegory of the gospels adapted from the book of the same name by Calvin
Miller. Michael shared with us, "This production represents what is in many ways the most complex directing task I've yet
tackled. Besides working with a producer, costume designer, music director and technical director, it's been a great opportunity to bring my teaching skills to bear in a theatre setting."
Most of Michael's cast members are high school and college-aged students with little theatre experience. "They've
been willing and eager to put in long rehearsal hours learning new skills and polishing them for this very demanding production!" says Michael. "It's very inspiring working with people who are just discovering for the first time a love of drama and its potential for sharing the Message!"
The Singer runs
May 9 thru May 11
at the Hazen High School Performing Arts Center in Renton. Tickets are $10 in advance, with group discounts available. Ticketing and showtime information is available at the World Stage Ministries web site, or at Evangel Bookstores in Bellevue or Issaquah, or the Christian Armory Bookstore in the Renton Highlands.
Acting in the
Guest Column by Jenn
For my first run in community theater, I
had expected everything to
be totally different from DIM, and planned to feel
under-prepared and extremely intimidated. But I discovered that really, Redwood
Theatre is almost the same, just with a slightly
The cast is larger; the audience is larger; the budget
is larger (OK, it’s merely one step up from Guerrilla Theater
to, say, Trench Warfare Theater…). And really, the
intimidation only lasts through closing night.
was also extremely fortunate to be working closely with
my husband, as well as with my brother-in-law George, on
stage; and I was being directed by close friend Mike –- all
long-time DIM members.
I was extremely unfortunate in
that I had to attempt my first accent –- a Scottish one,
nonetheless –- for the role. (And when you combine
my natural tendency toward delivering my lines too quickly
with a thick -- and unpolished -- Scottish accent, you’ve got
All in all, the experience was positive –
my fears were quickly relieved by warm and welcoming cast
members, and despite rehearsing in a coffee-roasting shop,
forgetting my one major prop on opening night, pronouncing the
word “six” in such a (Scottish) way that the cast thought I
was lecturing on marital relationships, and trying to maneuver
among the other twelve people on stage, I learned a lot, and (for
the most part) enjoyed the lessons.
1. Listen to
feedback. Use what you can, and let the rest go with no
the best laughs during the run come from laughing
at yourself. This is
supposed to be fun, remember?
Planning for a
One of the most popular events that DIM staged was a melodrama produced as a
part of the 1998 Normandy Arts Fest. Written by children's entertainters Gene
Black Bart was
brisk, entertaining, and HOT!!!
play was presented on perhaps the hottest day of the year, and
the physical demands of the script combined with heavy Western
costuming to absolutely roast the entire cast.
Audiences, however, seated comfortably outdoors in the shade,
enjoyed hooting and
hucking peanuts at the play's villain.
the play, DIM also made its first appearance in the Des Moines
Waterland parade, winning its first award in the event.
Cast members Patty Cram, Jenn Wright and Stefanie Kelly appear
in the parade-day photo above left.
DIM will present another as-yet-unchosen melodrama, and will
begin preparations with weekly improvisational exercise
workshops the first weekend in June. Be sure to let Greg
or Jenn know if you'd like to be involved!
Launching a New Idea
While in training at Puget Sound
Christian College in preparation for the drama ministry, Greg
Wright studied the population of artists working within the
Community Theatre environment, and discovered a disturbing
thing: they tended to avoid church drama like the
To a certain extent, the purposes and
structure of DIM were designed to combat the problem. By
training actors and other dramatic artists within the church
to perform at high levels of artistic excellence, Greg
hoped that stereotypes could broken, and the walls between the
church and community might begin to crumble. Aside from
very productive relationships formed by DIM with Raymond
Jones, Matt Meaney and James Wilhoit, the goal was not
realized. For the most part, DIM's work did not draw the
community into the church -- and neither quality nor
publicity were the issues.
For the next year or two, Greg and
Jenn will be redirecting much of DIM's energy toward
addressing this problem head-on. Rather than waiting for
the community to come to us, we're going to be taking the
drama to the community. Starting this winter, a new
theatre company will produce and stage portable productions
designed to play in small venues. Watch for more