About ten days ago Joyce and I made our first ever trip to Branson, Missouri. (It is a very long way to drive. I think we are still recovering!) Anyway, by far the most dramatic and wonderful and fabulous part of our trip was the opportunity we had to see the Sight and Sound production of JONAH. A few years ago we also saw the IN THE BEGINNING production at the Sight and Sound sister theater in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Both of these were powerful expressions of the gospel message, presented in a winsome manner.
The semi-circular stage in Branson was filled at times with nearly fifty actors, and at other times with live animals—uncooperative donkeys, stately horses, disorganized sheep, llamas, and camels. The pitching boat was created with careful detail. In the underwater scene the audience was, as it were, underwater as well, with brightly colored fish—and, of course, the Great Fish, swimming right over our heads. The vine that gave shade to Jonah, the repentant people of Nineveh, and the more creative storytelling additions of Jonah’s family and friends were all a part of the presentation.
I was especially pleased that the JONAH presentation was “in sync” with the biblical account. Jonah’s struggles with obedience to God’s plan, God’s demonstration of grace and mercy, and the final resolution of faithful dependence and transformation were displayed in a powerful way. The dramatic conclusion culminated in an opportunity for people from the audience to come for prayer.
You can find more details and vignettes from the production at http://www.sight-sound.com/WebSite/home.do