3 Mark Drama performances in 24 hours.
15 volunteer actors from around the U.K.
A swanky tent in a field in Wales.
Nearly 900 attendees.
What a week we had last week!
UCCF had their annual student leader’s conference FORUM and launched Uncover Mark, which is part of the Uncover series that encourages students to encounter Jesus by reading a gospel and discussing it with a friend.
Over the next few years, Christian Unions in the UK will be going for it in inviting fellow students to look at Jesus in Mark’s gospel. As part of this, UCCF invited us to come and put on a Mark Drama so students could see it and consider doing the Mark Drama at their campus.
It was amazing. FORUM is an exciting conference and we were honoured to be a part of it. Many people were moved by the performances and came and spoke to members of the team afterwards. Some UCCF staff said that even the sceptics were converted to doing the Mark Drama!
In all, some 25 Christian Unions expressed a desire to do the Mark Drama in the next academic year and gave specific dates for when they would like to do it. Our challenge now is to provide directors for each production so they can happen!
Please do pray for enough capable, quality directors and please thank God with us for how he helped us this past week at FORUM.
We are excited for what God is doing and will do through UCCF, Uncover Mark, and the Mark Drama!
It’s brilliant that we have 20 new directors ready to go.
But I hope that we will need a lot more than that. At UCCF Forum at the end of August I will be directing a team which will do 3 performances of the Mark Drama, with an audience of 300 at each.
And CU leaders from all over the country will be watching.
Afterwards they will have the opportunity to indicate that their CU wants to do the Mark Drama at their university. Nearly all of these productions will happen in the late January-early March window.
So we need more directors.
Please pray for Callom and me as we talk to UCCF about how we can find more people willing and able to be Mark Drama directors. Should we also train some students? Do we do more training weekends, or do we try to train the next tranche of directors on the job as they shadow a production?
Wisdom needed! And directors needed too!
Some of the 20 new directors-in-training had never seen the Mark Drama.
So a key part of this past weekend was me directing parts of the drama, with the participants doing the acting (and Callom playing Jesus). You could sense the enthusiasm mounting.
5 who had already shadowed a production then each directed a few incidents in Mark: they did a great job.
There was also an opportunity to show everyone how the director works with the Jesus actor (before any of the rehearsals) to work on two of the most demanding scenes: Gethsemane and the cross.
We had to pass on a lot of director’s materials to everyone too. It didn’t look like anyone was suffering from information overload: they could see the value of all they were getting.
Please pray that all 20 new directors will take time soon to go through the materials they’ve gone home with. Everyone’s excited about the prospect of directing, but everyone’s aware, too, that they have a lot to do in order to internalise the whole drama, so they can direct everything as far as possible without looking at the notes.
And let’s be praying that all 20 of these directors will experience the Lord’s help as they prepare themselves to direct, and then as they direct productions in 2019.
And that many students will come to know Jesus!
This past weekend it’s like a door has opened.
In September UCCF is kick-starting Uncover Mark in university CUs. As part of this they’re going to encourage CUs to put on their own production of the Mark Drama.
For that to be possible we need directors. Lots of them.
Callom and I trained 20 new directors this past weekend. They came from all over, committed to learning how to help CUs proclaim the good news in this way. They worked hard. They asked good questions. They studied the director’s materials.
One comment was typical: I’m much more confident after this weekend! Here’s another: I’m very positive. Lemme at ‘em!
20 new directors. We need a lot more, but this weekend has been a fantastic start.
A door has opened.
In August there will be 3 Mark Drama performances at UCCF’s FORUM here in England. It will be directed by Andrew Page and will be rehearsed in Southampton and then the team will travel to FORUM in Oswestry.
Here is where you can help. Are you a student interested in going to FORUM? Are you a student and could help us by being in the Mark Drama team? If you are interested do let us know! And feel free to pass this on to others who you think might be! This is an exciting opportunity to be involved in something that is powerful to be a part of and show it to students from across the U.K.!
- August 25 – Southampton – afternoon rehearsal
- August 26 – Southampton – afternoon rehearsal
- August 27- Southampton- all day rehearsal
- August 28 – travel to FORUM in Oswestry
- August 29, 30, 31- performances
Andrew is off to London to direct a Mark Drama with The Globe Church, London. Please do be praying for him, the team, and for many people to come and experience the living Jesus!
Also do check out this interview of Charlie, the Jesus actor. We think it is brilliant!
It is great to be back with the Mark Drama!
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Callom (yes, spelled with an o) and I previously worked with Andrew as the Mark Drama Develoment Worker in 2013-14. I am very excited to return in a part-time role alongside Andrew (true repentance, says Andrew!) and to be once more involved in putting on Mark Dramas!
There are many exciting things on the horizon and we will try and keep you updated along the way!
Thanks for your support and prayers!
The Oxford Pastorate work among postgraduate students.
Every Mark Drama I am involved in is powerful. There is so much power in this story.
But this production was wondrous.
The team worked so hard in rehearsals and were very quick to see what I was looking for as I directed. And Jon, who was playing Jesus, knew the words incredibly well: it makes such a difference when the Jesus actor is able to speak these astonishing words fluently.
The whole drama gripped the audience at our performances. But Section Six’s Gethsemane and crucifixion scenes were extraordinarily powerful.
So thank you if you prayed for this production. Please pray for fruit in people’s lives which will make eternity different.
And pray for the director too: I feel like I’m 64!
Yesterday I drove home from Cheltenham.
People from a number of churches (but mostly from Holy Apostles Church) had got together to do a Mark Drama production as part of Cheltenham Christian Arts Festival.
I enjoyed working with this team. Everyone worked hard and was determined to be the best they could be.
The first performance filled the venue (which was Holy Apostles Church): I reckon we had 250 people there. The second performance (at Elim Christian Centre) was full too, though the venue was less than half the size. But the right number of people came to a performance – we might not have had chairs for anyone else who turned up!
And the reactions were so positive. In the Comments book someone wrote: Really powerful to feel a part of the story! And another comment read Thank you – wonderful to be in the middle of a story you know so well and live the story in such a powerful way.
So we pray on for everyone who came. Lots of people took copies of Mark’s Gospel and of The Message of the Mark Drama.
Let’s pray for fruit that makes eternity different!