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I'm thinking of starting one of these in my church and thought I'd come here for some tips. Got any?

Any websites, books, articles, or just general information?

They would be performed about once a month and last about 8 minutes.

I was wondering how effective it would be to use some short films as ideas.

Any maybe a list of do and dont's would be helpful, particularly 'dont's'

"I am quietly judging you" - Magnolia

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The only advice I have is to write your own stuff. Everything I've seen on-line when it comes to Christian "drama" has been poo. I just started going back to the Baptist church I attended in college and they have a drama team now. They hate the material they're fed so I'm thinking about writing something for them...although I'd been accused of beeing "too dramatic" at my last church when I wrote stuff for them...

Hope things work well for you!

God bless,

randall

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I've done a good deal of church drama and am currently invovled with a very high quality team at my church.

Tip 1: Material is everything. Writing your own stuff will only work, if you've got a writer in the bunch. As to resources, Willow Creek's stuff is hit or miss, but very easily accessible online and you only have to pay for the stuff you want to use. Lillenas is my favorite publishing company. But even they have a stinker now and then. I have half a dozen dramas that have been performed anywhere from half a dozen to fifty times nationwide. I'll be glad to email the scripts to you for free to look over. Just email me and I'll respond with some attachments.

Tip 2: Make sure your purpose is clear, with both your group and to your pastor. Pastors tend to just want drama teams to act as illustrations to their sermons. But drama can and should do much more. It should stand alone to some extent as a worship song would.

Tip 3: Go for quality first before adding quantity. Do maybe one drama month for a while. Take each drama you're given as very serious. Even the cutesy or comedy ones. Excellence is your scriptural mandate and will only help your team and the church's outlook on the arts.

Tip 4: Say no. When asked to put together a littl drama to advertise for the church picnic or the ladies' retreat, say no! You shouldn't be wasting the time and energy to use your art for what an announcement could do slightly less effectively. If you start doing stuff that shouldn't be taken too seriously, you won't be taken very seriously.

Tip 5: Find that balance between concentrating on excellence and concentrating on the Holy Spirit. The excellence comes from rehearsing hard and long in advance, once you get to the perfromance use the moments right before going on to focus on your hearts, not to cram lines.

Good luck

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As to resources, Willow Creek's stuff is hit or miss

We only ever used Willow Creek stuff at our old church, and almost every drama was written by the same woman, with the same characters disguised under different names. Steve & I got tired of playing, respectively, the indifferent, sarcastic husband and the nagging, feather-brained wife.

What I would seriously recommend, and what it seems like you're already intending, is to have a real drama team with a leader. We would just call up volunteers, who would rehearse on their own. There was no direction, no dress rehearsal, just "Here's the script; we'll see it on stage in three weeks" (or "this week" -- got a few of those ack! occasions myself). Steve & I would so have appreciated a director who could choose people who specifically would do well in the roles, who could make sure no one was over- or underutilized, and who could ... well, direct us. Give us ideas for how to play it, staging instructions, feedback. Well, we either had no director or too many -- everybody on the planning crew decided on the drama, but no one was actually in charge of it. I think it would be best to get input from the planners and pastor but then let the drama team have some autonomy to decide what's fitting.

But I think it could be very cool, and I like Dan's suggestions a lot. Best wishes!

www.TheFilmForum.com -- Christian conversation about the movies

www.AmandaLCaldwell.com -- ALC Editing Services

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Amanda Caldwell wrote:

: Steve & I got tired of playing, respectively, the indifferent, sarcastic

: husband and the nagging, feather-brained wife.

Well, if you really needed to liven it up, you could have just switched the roles every now and then. smile.gif

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Well, if you really needed to liven it up, you could have just switched the roles every now and then.  :)

We did consider that! But we weren't sure our church was ready for it. A man who likes shopping?! A woman who understands finances?!

To help us get through sans gagging, we generally rewrote the material until it was more palatable to us. We usually also had to make the couple sound a little less middle-aged to make it look believable.

www.TheFilmForum.com -- Christian conversation about the movies

www.AmandaLCaldwell.com -- ALC Editing Services

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We did consider that! But we weren't sure our church was ready for it. A man who likes shopping?! A woman who understands finances?!

Hey! That sounds too much like my marriage!

"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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