All my fellow cast members stood around me as we bowed together one last time. My last college performance had finally come, and I was honored to end it in this way. This moment was more than just a performance. It encapsulated a fulfilled dream, a love for my fellow actors, and a rewarding end to my acting journey.
Two years prior, I received a role in the play, Twelve Angry Women where my acting path began. The following year I served as an assistant director for Much Ado About Nothing, and right after, I was already looking forward to my next opportunity to perform. Maranatha has held a lasting tradition of producing A Christmas Carol every three years. With this tradition in mind, I couldn’t help but become excited about the possibility of playing one of my dream roles—the Ghost of Christmas Past.
Auditions came and went, and after much anticipation, the results were finally posted. I so clearly remember opening the email to excitedly find that I would indeed be playing the role of my dreams.
On September 24, the entire cast came together for the first time. I remember looking around the room and seeing over 50 cast members who would soon become a family. Plays have a way of bringing together people who would otherwise never interact, allowing them to forge close friendships. A Christmas Carol did this in a unique way, in that the actors came from all different age groups. Children, teenagers, college students, and faculty members all came together to make this production a reality.
From the beginning of rehearsals, we all quickly learned that putting on this production meant more than memorizing lines and learning the blocking. Play director, Christina Miller, regularly encouraged the cast to serve one another as well as those outside the cast. She presented us with an opportunity that she called “Operation Tiny Tim.” Throughout the semester, the cast collectively raised funds to make Christmas even merrier for several Watertown families. We made cards for these families and presented them with gifts that well exceeded our goal.
One of my most special memories from this production was having the opportunity to act alongside my mentor, Dr. Jeff Miller. In my first college play, Dr. Miller served as my director. The following year, I directed alongside him as an assistant, and now for my last college production, he stood by me as a fellow actor. He has encouraged me throughout these last several years and always pushed me beyond what I believed I could do.
Practicing and rehearsing for A Christmas Carol was a long, but rewarding nine-week process. Our skills were developed, new friendships were made, and our goal was accomplished.
With that final bow, any previous doubts and questions such as “can I really do this” and “is it worth it” were answered with a resounding yes. A Christmas Carol will always serve as a testament to God’s goodness and strength, and I stand forever grateful for the opportunity.