Program Name: Good Shepherd Family Theatre
Music Director: Brenda Ferguson
This is the third year in a row and the eighth production by the Good Shepherd Family Theatre. The program is run and organized by Brenda Ferguson along with two junior high school creative and artistic assistant directors, Katie Martini and Laryssa Filatov.
Ferguson is the Organist and Director of Music at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. She has a five year classical Bachelors Degree in Music, plus 30 graduate music hours from several universities.
"I have always worked with church and school music. This is my seventh year at Good Shepherd. The music program is all volunteers including both choral and instrumental groups for all ages. We prepare anthems for worship services, sacred concerts and sacred musicals," said Ferguson.
Her creative talent and background combined with a passion of working with this youth program is evident in the productions they have been performing over the past few years. Productions such as The Story-Tellin' Man, Godspell, Angels Aware, It's Cool in the Furnace, Beethoven Mount of Olives, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Scrooge.
The musicals are performed by the members of the Sacristy Singers and the Chapel Choir.
Although Ferguson is the director of the musical she humbly gives all the credit to the children of the church who are dedicated and eager to perform.
This Saturday's musical production is Oh, Jonah by Allen Pote. It is a musical version of the Old Testament story of Jonah and the Whale.
"Oh, Jonah is a sacred youth musical about the Old Testament Book of the Bible named Jonah. He was a prophet who tried to run away from God. He was swallowed by a whale, survived for three days, then was spit out on land. Jonah went to Nineveh and preached to the people, saving them from destruction," said Ferguson regarding the premise of the musical.
These days everyone has a jam packed schedule but the children under Ferguson's direction look forward to rehearsal and the shows. There are 23 elementary age children from the church who will participate.
"I am having fun with the part, I like the singing and the Bible story too. I am learning a lot from my mistakes but it's been fun," said David Martini who will play the lead role of Jonah.
Robert Callan will be playing God, the whale, and one of the Ninevites. With multiple roles to play Callan has to know the lines and whereabouts for each part.
"It's not too hard. I usually come about an hour early to rehearsal to practice," said Callan.
The other main characters of the show are Dylan Martini who will play the Captain, and Brielle Nostro and Carly DeVisser who are the Angels of the Sea.
Because the show is the Saturday before Mother's Day it is dedicated to all the mothers with love from the cast. Ferguson has a strict policy of not allowing any of the mothers to view the set or costumes before the show, hoping to draw out the magic of the night.
According to the Good Shepherd Family Theatre all the productions are Biblical. Monies from the Church are not used as they depend on private donations. At the end of the year instead of buying gifts for the group leaders the children make a donation to the music ministry to ensure that the program will continue.
Oh, Jonah will appear Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 7 p.m., at the Good Shepherd Church in Pearl River. All are welcome to attend, it is a kid-friendly show as they are usually mesmerized by the props, costumes and the singing.
Break a leg kids!