Why do church productions have to be so second-rate? I watched a kids Christmas program tonight and couldn’t help noticing that the Christian community desperately needs some writers. It didn’t help that aside from the poor script, the production was lame and the kids simply didn’t know their lines and cues. Now I’m not trying to be a pessimist. It’s a kids’ program. It’s about watching the kids on the stage and enjoying what they do no matter how they do it. That’s the great thing. Nobody cares if they miss a line. I was just amazed at how off the whole production was. The script was lame, but I’ll get to that. The production needed help. They probably suffered from a lack of practice, but the sound was way off (miscued music, microphones in flux, and feedback-dreaded feedback), and the lighting didn’t know any cues. Perhaps both of those could be explained by simple flukes, someone got sick, the machinery didn’t work right, whatever. But it still came off looking lame. Then there was the actual performance. The kids didn’t know their lines, they didn’t know their cues. It was actually funny watching them pause and look at the director, who was frantically gesturing and mouthing lines. Then the kid would suddenly remember and start a line, only to stop when they realized it was the wrong one. Now I know I shouldn’t harp on the kids and I’m not going to. Things like that happen. I’m just trying to point out the overall effect this musical had. Perhaps I wouldn’t have been so annoyed with the script if all the other aspects came off well.
But then there’s the script. Why do we let our kids be so preachy and moralistic? Is there something inherently wrong with forcing kids to do evangelism. I don’t know, it’s something most people never question, but I cringe when a group of children recite evangelistic lines as part of a staged performance. It has this brainwashed, 1984 quality to it that I find kind of scary.
And what’s with churches jumping on the dot com bandwagon? This musical focused on a URL, and the whole thing was about a group of kids who answer questions people email in. The stage was set up with a giant computer screen. At least this time there actually was a URL that was mentioned in the musical. The last time I saw a church using dot com language, the URL didn’t exist. Unfortunately, the URL stated in the chorus didn’t actually contain anything relating to the theme of the play, just propaganda images for download.
What happened to church productions that are actually funny? It seems like an embarrassment to make kids put on such a lame production. I know, I know, I should just enjoy the show and smile at the cute things the kids did. But I just wish the church would focus less on cutesy, and more on content. Let me rephrase that, less on cutesy, more on delivery. They have the content, it’s just so bland and clich