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B.1.d  Discipleship obligations. 

A significant purpose of the University Theatre production program is to provide rich opportunity for Christian theatre artists to fulfill the Biblical commandment of discipleship.  Since an earlier section of this handbook describes God’s claims on our artistic lives, we need only to note some reminders.

The Christian theatre artist is commanded to spread the good news of God’s work in the world.  This process is not so much one of evangelical advocacy as it is one of illustra­tion and modeling.  God declared his creation good and the redeemed artist must illustrate the possibility for goodness.  Our work must show the urgency of striving for the good—a good born of the plan of God—rather than submitting to despair and purposelessness.  We must be authors of the notion that life is a spiritual journey, offering a dynamic series of choices by which we can shape (if not always control) our lives.  We must endorse choices made which lead to moral improvement for the individual and those around her/him.  And we must indicate approval for attitudes of selflessness and actions which are other-cen­tered.

The Christian theatre artist is required to practice the special artistic gifts provided by God as an act of rendering proper respect and worship to Him.  These gifts are many and varied, but include 1) vivid imagination, 2) sensitivities to situations and persons, 3) heightened awareness of communication nuance, 4) extraordinary visual and aural mem-ory, 5) abilities to make concrete that which is by nature abstract, and 6) the will for self examination. 

The Christian theatre artist is mandated, both by the nature of the art and by Christ’s ex­ample to strive toward the valuing and elevation of others over self. 

The University Theatre provides opportunity to strive toward developing a model Christian community among those who participate in its program.  The nature of artistic ensemble calls for gender distinctions to disappear, age differences to be insignificant, all scripted roles to be absolutely necessary, regardless of size.  The practice of theatre is a process in which everyone’s creativity is valued, where pre-planning often gives way to spontaneous event, where the imagination of the group happily overwhelms solitary vision.  Theatre practice is a group process, a social art.  And it calls for compromise, the setting aside of self for the sake of the product, the love to allow the emergence of others and to rejoice.

The striving to be Christian in community is of im­portance.  And our production program gives us the repeated opportunity to make it work, if we desire the state enough and if we make an informed and determined effort.

Next Section: B2: Our Repertoire

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