Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Looking Forward; Looking Back

Another year comes to an end and we make plans and resolutions for the start of the next. While, I don't think it's healthy to fix our attention on things past, because God calls us to continually look forward, it is a good idea from time to time to reflect on what has gone before so that we can be reminded of God's faithfulness. When it's hard to picture the future, some snapshots from the past can give us hope, encouragement and a foundation to be able to trust Him to provide and to be in control.

2008 was an incredible year both professionally and personally. Here are some highlights:

Masterwork Productions:
Produced "Getaway to Chipaway," a musical dinner theater with a message now available for churches to present as an outreach event.

Hosted a successful New England Worshiping Artist Retreat with “Heart of the Artist” author Rory Noland in Connecticut. People are encouraged, renewed and better able to minister to others as a result of attending.

Artists Helping Hand Fund established to provide assistance to Christian artists in financial need. The first gift goes to a performer hit by unexpected medical expenses not covered by insurance.

Comedian and Focus on the Family writer Torry Martin and Emmy-award nominated humorist Martha Bolton perform, teach and speak at various venues and conferences across the country. Masterwork workshops help equip arts leaders at individual churches and at national arts conferences.

How exciting to be part of a ministry that cares for people and bears fruit for the Kingdom.

Personal highlights this year were being named a Fellow at the National Critics Institute and a member of The Outer Critics Circle, the official organization of writers on the New York theatre for out-of-town newspapers, national publications, and other media beyond Broadway. Masterworks' reviews of Broadway and New York theater are the only source for theater reviews with added information from a Christian perspective. Hundreds of people each week use them to decide which shows to see in New York or when they are presented at theaters around the nation. (You can read them at http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com.)It's been a real pleasure to be able to serve in a way that combines my passion for writing, theater and sharing God with people.

Whatever 2009 brings, I know it will include new and exciting ways to serve Him and to make Him known. I pray the same for you.
I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.
(Jer: 29:11 THE MESSAGE)

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Daily Inspiration

The Blind Side

Read about the real life mom from "The Blind Side."

Lifeway: http://www.lifeway.com/article/?id=169816

Guideposts: http://www.guideposts.com/story/sandra-bullock-blind-side-football?page=0,1

Read Matt Mungle's review of the movie at http://www.buddyhollywood.com/.

Lauren Yarger, Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

In 2008 she was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater with a Christian perspective for Reflections in the Light (http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/) and is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection. She also is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com

She also reviews books for Publisher's Weekly and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She formerly was Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp, a national theater web site bsed in New York and a reviewer for American Theater Web.

She also served as Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. and worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

She is a freelance writer and member of the Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association, The League of Professional Theatre Women and The CT Critics Circle.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger lives with her husband in West Granby, CT and has two adult children.

Copyright Notice

All contents copyright © Lauren Yarger 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, contact masterworkproductions@yahoo.com.

Scripture from THE MESSAGE Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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