How do you stage this Christian Easter pageant script? The same way you eat an elephant: one bite at a time. We learned some lessons that might come in handy for the “storytellers” in the Body of Christ. This simple 18-step process boils down the basics to bite-sized morsels.
This "Development Calendar” is a producer’s countdown of the tasks to be completed for the production of God’s Masterpiece.
Step 1 - Share the vision with the Senior and Music/Worship Arts pastors.
Share the vision of God’s Masterpiece with your Senior Pastor and with your Worship Arts / Music Pastor. Be sure that they catch the vision and whole-hearted support this church-wide effort. Take them through this website and show them "The Prologue," the "Pictorial Tour," "Masterpiece Art," and whatever other information on this website that you think would be helpful in paving the way forGod’s Masterpiece to be produced at your church.
Step 2 - Determine the details of the performance of God’s Masterpiece.
Together with the Senior Pastor and the central leadership of your congregation, determine the production details.
• What are the performance dates?
• Is this a “free performance” sponsored by the church as a community outreach?
• Is this a “ticketed performance” to cover the expenses of doing the show?
• How much will the tickets be?
• Who will serve as “Theatrical Director”?
• Who will serve as “Music Director”?
• Who will serve as “Technical Director”?
• Who will serve as “Choreographer”?
• Will directors be paid?
• Who will be the “Production Assistant”? Will he/she be paid?
Step 3 - Present a production budget.
Create a budget for this production. (See the Budget page.) Propose it, and make any necessary adjustments until it is approved.
Step 4 - Obtain a Performance License for God’s Masterpiece.
Follow these simple steps to obtain your license:
• Go to the Performance Package page and pay the one-time “conditional use fee” for the Performance Package.
• Download the Performance License Agreement.
• Complete, sign, and mail/email the Performance License Agreement to us at our address on the "Contact Us" page.
• Once the signed Performance License Agreement is received, you will receive your Performance License and your Performance Package in the mail.
Step 5 - Share the vision with the church staff.
Ask the Senior Pastor to share the vision for the production of God’s Masterpiece with the church staff. If he is for producing this Christian Easter pageant play, they will all be for it!
Step 6 - Hire paid or volunteer personnel.
Share the vision of God’s Masterpiece with the directors and production assistants so that they feel like they are already an integral part of your “Executive Team.”
Step 7 - Print volunteer forms.
Print "God’s Masterpiece Volunteer Forms” (See “Volunteer Forms” on the Production Team page.) Arrange to have the bulletins stuffed with these forms. Determine what kinds of “vision-casting” publicity you will use to support the Pastor’s presentation to the congregation, as he shares the vision of producing God’s Masterpiece.
Step 8 - Prepare the advertising for vision-casting to the congregation.
Recruit the needed personnel for “live” previews, or prepare the video or musical, or screen graphics to be shared with the congregation.
Step 9 - The Senior Pastor casts the vision to the congregation.
Everything the Senior Pastor says is taken seriously, so let him cast the vision for this production.
• Show some of the professional photographs
• Play some of the music from the “Performance Music CD” that is part of yourPerformance Package.
• Show some of the art pieces to be reenacted up on your screens.
• Have some volunteers dress in biblical costumes, and reenact "The Prologue.”
• Do whatever you need to do to communicate the vision to your congregation.
• Distribute the “Volunteer Forms”
Step 10 - Create a database from all “Volunteer Forms.”
Collect all the “Volunteer Forms” that were handed in by the congregation. Sort them according to primary interests checked, then enter them into a database.
Step 11 - Recruit “Crew Chiefs” and the “Executive Team.”
Recruit each one of your Crew Chiefs personally. Speak with them, then follow up in a letter which explains the details of their appointment. (See the Production Team page.) Use your “volunteer list” generated from your all-church announcements to find the most talented people to be your Crew Chiefs in each category.
Step 12 - Cast the vision to the heads of the “Production Teams.”
Invite all Crew Chiefs and the executive task force to a nice dinner; spoil them, they need to feel needed and cherished. Cast your vision. These people are the heart of your production.
Step 13 - Recruit the production crews.
Assist each Crew Chief in recruiting his/her own production crew. Give each Crew Chief the “Volunteer Forms” for his/her respective crews that were filled in by the congregation after the pastor’s pitch. Also give each Crew Chief the database printout of all the people interested in helping on that crew.
NOTE: Many people will check several production crew interests, simply place those people’s names on as many lists as they checked. They will respond to whichever Crew Chief they want to when they receive their recruitment call.
Step 14 - Prepare for auditions.
Auditions are both thrilling, and stressful Here are some ideas to help them go smothly:
• Print up “Scoop Sheets” with all rehearsal and performance dates and times clearly spelled out.
• Decide if you will provide childcare for rehearsals; if not, do not allow children, who are not in the show, to attend rehearsals; they distract their parents.
• Print short script excerpts that feature that specific character or that class of characters for the auditions; for example, one set of “Crowd” dialogue will serve for all crowds. One “Disciple” speech will serve for all disciple speeches, etc.
• Determine the “when and where” for the auditions.
• It is best to make a day of it, and audition one class of characters at a time; for example, disciples from 1:00-2:00, etc...
• You may want to audition singers, dancers, and musicians on a different day from the actors.
• Invite directors, choreographers, the music/worship arts pastor, and any others to make casting decisions along with you.
• Advertise audition information on posters, the church website, and in the church bulletin.
• Have interested parties pick up script excerpts (kept in an accordion file by character class or name) from the church office in preparation for their audition.
Step 15 - Conduct “Cast Tryouts” for your congregation.
Audition by groups in all the various cast categories of God’s Masterpiece.
• Principle cast members
NOTE: It is better for morale to limit cast and crew membership to your own congregation, but you may decide to link with another church or hire professional actors. If you do bring in outside people, be sure to have plenty of fellowship opportunities, so that everyone can bond together and create the family feeling you need in the cast.
Step 16 - Share the vision with the cast.
Have an all-cast and crew pot-luck to cast the vision to the entire God’s Masterpiece company. Share with them many of the items you have already shared to cast the vision to prior groups. Pray and ask God’s blessing.
Step 17 - Begin rehearsals (See "Rehearsal Calendar" for rehearsal suggestions)
Attend as many rehearsals as you can, and encourage everyone along in this task. Sometimes, the best thing the producer can do at rehearsals is stay out of the director’s way and serve refreshments!
Step 18 - Rehearsals leading to the performances
It is wise to have dancers, musicians, and singers, rehearse separately under the direction of their own supervisors. Mix them with the cast in the last four weeks of rehearsals.