Monday, May 17, 2010

Savior of the World
The Resurrection
May 7 & 8, 2010

So I guess you could say I'm in my post-show funk. Actually, I'm doing better now, but last week I was big-time depressed it was over. I really can't say enough about how much I loved the whole experience. I enjoyed it on so many levels. The picture above is the gift we gave our bishop at our cast party. I had it printed on canvas and framed like a painting. It was bittersweet, since they released him as our bishop, the Sunday after our final performance. Nick was also released as his counselor. It was sad timing, considering the experience we had just shared. He is an amazing man and will really be missed. What a wonderful gift he gave us. He really believed our ward could produce this play on our own and I think we did a great job.

We performed it at our church building and opened it to the public. We had close to 200 people for each of the three shows, so that was exciting.

Nick and his crew did a great job on the set. He made it out of foam then used a blow torch to carve out the stones. It really looked authentic when the lights were turned low. My kids all asked "Where are the skeletons?!" since it reminded them of all the Haunted Forest stuff he's built. Not this time... resurrected folks only!

Jill as Mary Magdalene

It was so fun to have three sisters, two kids, two nephews, a brother, a sister in law and brother in law all in the show. Kinda crazy...when does something like that ever happen? Jill and John both had to really step outside of their comfort zone. They each sang more than one solo which neither of them has ever done before. They did such an awesome job and it was really gratifying to hear over and over, "I had no idea Jill and John could sing!" I'm sure the anxiety lobbed off a few years from their lives but I've no doubt it was worth it.

Jon Layne portrayed the Savior

My friend Kristi, came to our dress rehearsal and took tons of pictures. Of course the lighting was low, so they aren't perfectly crisp, but I am so happy to have them. She got some really fantastic shots. The one above is my favorite. Kristi's husband played Peter who is also pictured in the photo.

John as Thomas

When the bishop asked me direct this I was a little worried that I wouldn't end up liking the play or the songs. I was totally unfamiliar with it. I thought it would be cheesy or overly sentimental etc. I'm not a huge fan of a lot of modern church music, so I was sort of apprehensive. Anyway, I was very surprised by how beautiful the music is. It has more of a classical sound and the words are based on scripture which I like.

so proud of my peeps

Like Jill and John, most people in the play had never done much of anything in theater before. I loved watching everyone stretch themselves and get over their insecurities and just go for it. It was really rewarding to witness. Everyone was so encouraging and positive and I know it was so fun for them to do something so entirely different. When we were first considering doing the show, one of the big questions was whether or not we could get enough men to take part. There were about 15 parts for men--mostly apostles. It was super cool to see so many willing men take time from their lives and careers, and sign on to this project. I'm going to miss them.

One of the best parts of the experience, was watching my brother in law, Jon. When he agreed to play the part of Christ, we told him that we would be using a voice-over from Salt Lake, since that's how many performances are done. About a month into it, we felt like he so "fit" the part that we decided to have him perform live. With a beard, Jon looks so much like many of the paintings of Jesus. His voice was beautiful and he spent so much time getting it just right. I am so happy we went with his voice. He was an amazing likeness in every way.

I have to say that more than anything else, the best part of doing this show was all the friendships that were made. I am so lucky to have so many family living nearby but sometimes it keeps us from getting to know other people. I absolutely LOVED working with so many cool people. We had such great times at the rehearsals and shows... it really is such a bummer not to see everyone regularly anymore.

I have the best memories of being in ward and stake productions when I was young. We did so much more of this type of stuff when I was little, so I'm really glad my kids got to experience it. Even Mitchell was feeling the love by the end of it and asked, "Can I be in it next time?"

One thing I'll say for our ward is that it is filled with overachievers. I mean that in a good way. Every person does their very best. My friend Terry was in charge of the costumes and they turned out amazing. The costumes and the set really made such a difference--visually, everything looked fantastic.

Lots of men grew beards for the event. It was crazy seeing them all shorn and buzzed last Sunday after months of the Grizzly Adams look.


Kimmie said...

What a wonderful, special event you got to be a part of! The photos are gorgeous and most of them look like they should be in a church book. AMAZING!!

The costumes, lighting and backdrop are phenomenal!

Jill plays the PERFECT Mary! From what I have read Jill is a sweetheart and peacemaker and so it sounds like there couldn't be a sweeter girl to play Mary than Jill.

It's SO sad when things change and we get new Bishop's. It's hard to let to go and to accept new leaders, but it always turns out great and you get to know new people.

You and I are SO much alike in this area. I do NOT like change at all!! I am happy staying in my comfort zone and "being on the side lines" watching, but it is when we are forced to "stretch" ourselves that we grow by leaps and bounds. I have had my own "stretch" moments and I'm grateful for them.

I had no idea Nick was a counselor in the Bishopric. It sounds like your life has many bitter-sweet things going on right now besides not having the performance practices anymore.

I LOVE the photo of you "proud of your peeps". You are SO adorable and I bet the people that were in the production love YOU as much as you love them.

It is SO true, that it is easy to get in a "groove" and to not venture out and meet other people, because you have family so close, or you have your friends you have been friends with forever, but what a WONDERFUL thing it is to get to know other people and even more amazing how you can grow to love others so much as well.

You are a LIGHT and example to so many people and you probably aren't even aware of half the people that you influence on a weekly basis.

Thanks for being such a wonderful example of goodness to me!!

Hope your week is a happy one and enjoy having more time with Nick, now that he isn't a counselor in the Bishopric anymore.

Suzanne said...


YOU MADE IT!! It looks like it turned out phenominal!! Well done, my friend! Well done!

Hope you are getting much needed rest and recovery and I cannot wait to see what new adventure is for you next! LOVE YOUR GUTS! -Suzanne

browneyedgirl said...

It did turn out quite well Jill! Awesome it was!

browneyedgirl said...

You're not the only one who got a new bishop in their ward!

{Mo} said...

WOW! What a great experience for every involved. I'm in awe, and can't even imagine all the time and effort that was put into this!

Jek said...

It was an amazing play and you never cease to amaze me with your talents!! it was quite the show and I am so glad i was part of this whole experience.

Anonymous said...

Just reading about all of this brought tears to my eyes. I can really see Jill in her role and Jon as the Savior. Wow! Thanks for sharing with pictures and words. You are one talented lady. Aunt Nancy

Jayne Layne said...

Great post. It was fun to recap. I love the pictures and had such a great time doing this. You definitely out did yourself with this one! You did great and Johnny, Jon, and Jill were amazing! Much love to you Steven.

Dayna said...

Wow. That is all I can really think of to say. You are truly amazing and I wish I could have been there to see it.

And I can totally see how Jayne's husband would be the perfect role for Christ- major look a like! :)

VEGAS VIC said...

It will go down as a highlight for dad and me. We were so proud of all of our kids and all of the cast. I think the most telling thing was the fact that the Spirit was there. It was very moving and inspiring.
I am just glad you all got to have that great opportunity. Start something else......

carey said...

Jennifer! What an incredible experience!!! And I'm sure it that was compounded by having so many of your family members be a part of it with you. How I wish we could have come and seen it. Our stake has put SOTW on for 3 years in a row. Between you and I, I would have preferred something a little smaller in scale, like what you have shown here. It looks so well done and so beautiful. I'm proud of you all and am so glad your families got to be a part of this.

Katie Gourdin said...

You are such an amazing person and I can only image how wonderful this turned out. Your talents keep shining and you inspire so many people around you. I wish I could have witnessed this. Did you record it by chance?

Love ya,

Mitch said...

Just got a little choked up. One, because I love seeing my family express their talents and testimonies in such a difficult and uncomfortable way. That really is a great example to me. Two, because i'm incredibly jealous i couldn't have been there and seen it or even been in it. I've always thought Jon would make a good Jesus. And Jill makes a fabulous Mary. I'm super impressed they had solos. Great job putting it all together Jennifro. I love you all a ton. Save a play for me and Jenni! :/

Ann Marie said...

Oh Mrs Jennifer Amazing director!!!

Here I am late-late.. but at least I made it right?

I WISH-WISH I could have seen this. Have I already told you that?? Well.. I'll tell you again!

~ Any chance these ward members want to take it on the road? Maybe Utah perhaps? LOL!

I am not shocked that everything was so grand and perfect.. it seems that with Nick on the sets.. and you in the "Director" chair.. how can it not be wonderful.. wonderful!!

The pictures are amazing.. and I love the shots around The Savior ( Jon ).. Wow.

I feel for you going from such a spiritual "high" to it ending.. and then Nick getting released. That is a huge change and so hard.

Thanks for your example... your friendship.. your kind words and comments.. and for always giving of yourself 100%! Love you!

PS: Jill.. yes.. I can see would have been the perfect Mary. She is so sweet.. humble.. and kind. Perfect casting!!

Ann Marie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenni and Mitch Miller said...

Wow of all the things I envy that we miss, this tops them. You guys are amazing slash the coolest!!!