Tuesday, October 16, 2007

News and Reviews in the World of Christian Performing Arts

Halloween and how or whether Christians should observe it has been getting a lot of play on the internet this week. Christian comedian Robert G. Lee offers some interesting thoughts at

Another Christian comedian, Anita Renfroe, appears on Good Morning America today. Her "Total Momsense" song of things mothers say to their kids set to the William Tell Overture has been making the rounds on the internet and led to the Good Morning America gig as well as interviews on Inside Edition, Dr. Phil and the CBS Early Show among others. Click on the video link at right to view this clip.

Lillenas (publisher of some of the best Christian drama and music) has announced some changes for its Drama Arts Conference. The drama conference no longer will be combined with the music arts conference and will be held in April instead of February as it had been in the past. Save the dates of April 24-26. The conference will be held in the Kansas City area. For more details as they become available, check this blog or sign up for email updates at info@lillenasdrama.com.

Today is Blog Action Day for the Environment. Let's take a moment to remember the environment in our prayers. God did put it in our care.

Paul Kuritz, an acting and directing professor at Bates College, has written a book with an interesting perspective. "The Fiery Serpent" (Pleasant Word 2007) examines theater and film making from a Christian perspective. The author's first prayer as a newly converted follower of the Lord was "Dear God, please don't make me a born-again evangelical Christian." God declined and one of the results is this book. Some might be intimidated by its erudite nature (he quotes Aristotle and delves into the laws of thermodynamics) but the investigation of the nature and art of movies and plays is well worth the read.

Mr. Kuritz creates the image of God as a playwright and director and offers the stories of the bible as evidence of God's flare for the dramatic. We come to see that all of the creative process isn't really all that new, but a recreation of the internal conflict within man to choose to follow good instead of evil. And in the end, it's all for God's glory. There's some great practical advice for Christian artists like: "In making a play or a film, the theater artist encounters many people giving him instructions, making demands on him, planning his days, requesting compliance, issuing orders, presenting temptations, and rationalizing and justifying all sorts of things. For the Christian, all of these human messages must be filtered through the cross of Christ and found consistent with life in the kingdom of God. To order the book online go to http://www.pleasantwordbooks.com

Due to the wonderful response we're receiving to this blog, we're considering expanding it to two posts each week, one for news and reviews and the other for inspiration and devotion for artists. We'd like to hear from you on what you'd find helpful. What topics would you like addressed? Which day would be most helpful for you to receive the devotional posting, Thursday or Friday? Please send your comments to masterworkproductions@yahoo.com.

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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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