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The school at whcih I teach is well-stocked with forward-thinking, arts lovers who see the arts (including the theatre I do) as valuable because it is art, not because it necessarily saves souls. The church with which we are affiliated, however, is a methodist church. The leadership and much of the membership is pretty "yee-haw Jesus". They talk about holiness a lot and most sermons are about the horrible state of the world and how we must stand against the declining society, blah, blah, blah. And they have a drama team.

I have been cautiously and "tongue-bitingly" developing a relationship with the director of the group. She is a good actress with a good heart. I stopped by their rehearsal/workshop recently to make the connection. I'm really trying to bring my department into the consciousness of the church (mostly for audiences and patrons) and I thought this bridge might be a good way.

We've been exchanging pleasant e-mails for a few days now and she asked to read my play. (the one I'm getting professionally produced)

Well, I sent it to her and she read it immediately. When I got her response I had this terrible sinking feeling, but then I kept reading...

Well done Dan.  I can't think of a word of constructive criticism to give you.  The characters were believable.  The plot was believable.  The dialog flowed well, was very creative, and natural.  I must confess though, and I'll be candid.  Through the majority of the play I had some concerns.  I was reading your script and thinking how good it was yet at the same time I was disappointed.  I was thinking, you're a christian and the Lord has given you so much talent, yet in reading your script I'm seeing curse words, the Lord's name taken in vain, a character that doesn't want to have anything to do with God, a priest who admits he gets discouraged and loses his connection to God... I'm thinking you have so much talent that you could be using for the Lords glory.  You could be using your talents to reach people for Christ.  I was wishing you would be bold in your faith and not give into the ways of this world and settle for 'secular' theater.  But then I read the script in its entirety.  You hadn't forsaken your faith and your foundation in Christ.  You have used this script to reach a worldly audience.  You didn't talk church talk.  You weren't preachy.  You didn't write something stale or corny just to make it more 'religious'.  You showed real people speaking real language (be it fowl or not) and then at the end, you showed them the truth.  You showed them the gospel.  You showed them God's grace and forgiveness.  You showed that there is hope and reconciliation.  You showed that we are still held accountable for our actions but that even with the trials and difficulties, we are better off to face the truth and confess our sins.  Dan, you have managed to write a script that community theaters wouldn't feel uncomfortable to present.  Yet, as they presented it, they would be presenting the truth.  Without coming out and saying "Jesus", you made reference to God sending his son, Jesus, to die for us.  I pray that the Lord uses this script for His glory.  I pray that theaters will not choose to omit the scripture at the end.  I pray that it will open eyes to see and ears to hear and allow the Holy Spirit to minister to people.  It shows that our God isn't a God of hate but of mercy, grace and forgiveness.  And even though it doesn't come right out and say so, I pray that people will realize that that mercy and forgivenss comes from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To God be the glory through your script.  Blessings in your efforts of distributing your work.  Thank you for allowing me to read it.

I initially thought this was going to be one of those nightmarish reprimands about being of the world, or in the world, or near it, or among, or hovering over. I forget which preposition I'm supposed to be. But aparently, this is the first time she's ever encountered a Christian who is writing with their faith informing their work who isn't didactic. She clearly has had an aha moment in reading it.

Thanks God for letting her receive this piece! And thanks for the new friendship, may I seek more tha just support for my group from it.

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I feel sort of odd jumping in since I'm such a newbie here, but this is wonderful news! I've spent the past 6 or so years working with Christian artists to provide for them the support they need to convince others of the need for Christians to produce art with integrity, so stories like this give me that big, warm, sweet interior glowing.



"What do people mean when they say 'I am not afraid of God because I know He is good?' Have they never been to a dentist?"--C.S. Lewis

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Thanks a lot Blue,

And welcome. Reading thru your bio, you'll fit right in here. Funny you should mention liking fantasy fic. We have a member whose just (and I mean JUST) signed a two book deal with a big time book publisher for that type of tale and the story in the hot seat in the writer's workshop section is the same gnere.

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Maybe Dan is a big fan of Chaucer's Parlement of Foules wink.gif

But seriously, it's great to get some unexpected and welcome affirmation--and much deserved, too. Your film study guides are great for almost any age.

Edited by BethR

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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That's an awesome piece of feedback. I'd be on cloud nine if I received something like that. Great job!

In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
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I initially thought this was going to be one of those nightmarish reprimands about being of the world, or in the world, or near it, or among, or hovering over.  I forget which preposition I'm supposed to be.

I think it's "in, with, and under" the world. No, strike that. It's: Over, Under, Sideways, Down! cool.gif

Great going on creating the "aha moment" in your reader!

Yours truly,


No one with a good car needs to be justified. -- Hazel Motes

In the final end, he won the wars, after losin' every battle.-- Bob Dylan, Idiot Wind

Hot Rod Anglican blog ...

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Brilliant, Mr. Buck. The more you do things right, the more likely you'll be taking flack, so even if this letter HAD fulfilled your fears rather than your hopes, I would have encouraged you to press on. I'm glad she had "eyes to see." Sounds like it's time for you to write ANOTHER play while you're in this period of inspiration.



Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.


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That's terrific, Dan! Thanks for sharing it.

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big, warm, sweet interior glowing.

You and Peter and I are going to get along just fine.

Congrats, Dan.


In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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