Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Community Service Sewing

Wow!  I've just finished over a month of volunteering for our church's Easter Pageant, which ran for 13 nights!  I was part of the most wonderful team of costumers who had already made all of the costumes for the 300-person cast of this fabulous production!  All that was left to do was to sew the remaining 60 garment bags for costumes that didn't have bags, yet.  I lost count of how many I made and helped make.

I came in during the first week of March and helped get the last minute sewing caught up before the first dress rehearsal that took place on March 14.  There were three nights of dress rehearsals and on the night before opening, we had a "Community" performance where bus-loads from homeless shelters, orphanges, families of cast members, production team, costumers, etc. - the sanctuary was full!  The crowd loved the production - they cheered and yelled in excitement when Jesus ascended above their heads up into the third balcony and into a fog-filled opening with a bright light emanating from it to depict heaven.  It was quite exciting for everyone to see it with their very own eyes!

During the production run, we costumers were always back stage ready and able to sew up any rips, re-sew loose velcro, come up with additional head wraps, etc.  It was amazing to learn about some of the back stage activities and needs that would arise.  On Friday nights, we would each take home a group of costumes to our own laundry rooms for washing (Is that with an "r"?  That was the joke going around the costume room many nights!).  On Sunday, we had to return the costumes by 3:00 p.m. so they could be placed on their proper rack for the actors to retrieve by 4:00 p.m., when they would arrive to have their makeup applied.  The play didn't start until 7:30, but everyone had to be in their places at least an hour ahead of start time.

The production ended last Friday night, April 1, with the usual closing night sadness.  To make it worse, there was a torrential downpour going on outside as the play ended.  There was even some real thunder and lightning which added to the simulated thunder and lightning at the very moment of Jesus' death on the cross.  It really intensified the realism of the message of the Cross.

Yesterday, my husband, Lee, and I went back to church to help clean up the four costume rooms, including the sewing room, and to bring home 32 Roman soldier tunics for the laundry!  They have all been washed, as of this afternoon, and are hanging to dry in our basement.  We'll return them, folded, and ready for the next prodution.

What an experience this has been, what a blessed experience it was!  To be a part of such a professionally, well-done production that's put on by a cast of 400 actors and over 1,000 others who are all volunteers! A truly God-blessed event that has touched so many lives with His gospel!  All glory and praise be to God!

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