Pilate, A Look Back
Theater is a unique and wonderful thing. It takes an inspired writer to put words on a page. Then it requires a director, and designers to have a vision for how these words can take on life. Something is created that didn’t exist before. Something that lives and breathes and, not only changes the audience, but themselves. What a precious gift God gives us – to be a part of an artistic expression that we pray He can use.
It was in October of 2017 that PILATE first appeared. It was in the form of a script that was read one Wednesday morning in TAM (Territorial Arts Ministries) rehearsal. It spoke to most of us immediately with its message. It was quality material by a respected writer (Mark Allen Eaton) that would be worth the time and efforts it would require.
With Chuck Goodin directing, Erin Morgan choreographing and Ian Evans and Kathryn Higgins taking on the roles of Pilate and Claudia, we saw the Lord form a strong team that continued to grow as we brought on more actors, set and lighting designers, graphic designers, painters, and builders. God was displaying His goodness to us all.
We approached Capt. Olivia and Lt. Pratik Munn-Shirsath of Theatre 315, the wonderful black box theater at The Salvation Army Times Square Corp in NYC, and formed a partnership that would allow us to schedule four performances during Holy Week and include The Glory Shop students in the cast.
Now looking back on the rehearsal process, the move into the theater, the packed houses and positive responses, I’m thankful how I saw God work in people (whether onstage, backstage, in the shop or at their computer) to create this production called PILATE that changed me – that changed many others in ways we will never know. I like sharing the story of the man in Saturday night’s talkback that said he was raised Muslim, but now he wants “to know more about this Jesus.” That comment was worth every minute, every dollar, every challenge and every joy from the past months.
On opening night, the director gathered us in a circle, then proceeded to put a drop of ‘blood’ (yes – stage blood) on each extended palm as he spoke of Jesus’ sacrifice for each of us. I have thought of that moment and seen it in my mind numerous times since then. Jesus’ sacrifice has taken on new meaning for me. An awakening has occurred of what my faith, my ministry, and my life is based on.
It was a privilege to part of PILATE that God surely used – as we prayed He would.
It’s not about us. But what fun we get to have along the way!
Arts Ministries Director
The Salvation Army Eastern Territory