“To God be the glory” is what we often say and truly, all creations belong to Him. Drama has a way of embodying the stories in the Bible in the most creative of ways. We need to witness the Words of God in new ways so that we reaffirm our commitment to His teachings.
There are techniques which drama can be used in a church setting. We don’t need big stages, expensive sets, and paid actors. What we need is a good script, creative imagination, minimalist style and the audience.
A drama in church for church-goers is an offering in a cohesive holistic production. It doesn’t have to be long, but it has to be true, sincere and organized. Here are 5 ways to use drama in church:
Adaptation from Bible Stories
The most common form is adapting the prose from the Bible into scenes with dialogues. The writer has to choose the most important lines and images to show the audience. We understand that everything is important, for example, in a particular story in the Bible, but editing means choosing to efficiently deliver the message/s clearly.
The language used should be our normal ordinary way of speaking because we are speaking to the contemporary present audience. You might lose the attention of the younger generations with archaic language. No one needs to be in period costumes, we are not recreating the past, but we are telling timeless stories.
Musical – Add Music to Your Bible Story
Music exalts our intentions. We already offer and praise God through music. It will be nice if we can set a Bible story or parable to music, which will heighten all dramatic possibilities. Again, the script must be cohesive. Some words can be chanted or set to melody while some dialogues can be spoken.
The melodies can be from existing songs, but set to the words in the script, as long as copyright issues are checked. Another musical idea that is playful and modern is to choose lines from different existing songs that embody the story, as long as this is a private show and not charging tickets.
Mime and Pantomime
This is the use of the body as a vessel of praise. No words get in the way of the performance. However, there is still a writer involved to write the particular actions that would send particular messages. There is no need for professional artists because everything now can be Googled and YouTubed to learn things.
But the performers must be committed to embody the messages for the audience. Mime is silent while pantomime can use music as background for implying, for example, emotions. Humor can be injected into the performance because why not? It is not mocking, but appropriate stylistic gestures.
In relation to mime and pantomime, dancing can be used to tell stories. In dance, rhythm and timing are the keys to the performance accompanied by facial expressions and appropriate music.
The music can be instrumental like classical music or contemporary music (like the previous suggestions). Style of dance can be ballet, ballroom, tap dance, etc. The writer must find creative ways to weave the dance interpretatively with the Bible story. The script is the guide while the direction and the dancers execute that guide with their own improvements.
Monologues with Characters from the Bible
A series of monologues told from different points-of-views create a fuller and bigger picture of the story. The performers don’t even have to act out the scenes. But they need to voice-act. The power is in their telling with emotions and sincerity.
They can even be reading from the script yet, project the power of imagination with their performances. The writer must be dynamic in writing different characters with different perspectives.
In putting up a drama, the important thing is to be creative and not be afraid to explore art. Most people who attend church know the Bible stories thus, these interpretations will enhance their appreciation for these stories.