If you’re interested in organising a production of the Mark Drama, please contact us. We’ll talk you through what needs to happen, and send you details about how to organise the show.
Before that though, here are a few things to note. You’ll need at least 2 months prior to the performances to organise everything. As the hosting church, student group or Christian organisation, you’ll need to find a producer, arrange rehearsal times and performance space, as well as advertise the show and invite guests! In all this though, we are here to help – we will send you a trained director to assist with casting and teach the actors.
As you can see, organising the Mark Drama will take some time, so please contact us well in advance.
A more detailed guide…
1. Find a producer
The producer is responsible for all the behind-the-scenes organisation and event management – advertising, promotions, room bookings, ticketing, refreshments etc. The producer must be an active member of the hosting church or Christian group. He or she may also be a member of the acting team, although this is not required.
2. Ask for a director
The director liaises with the producer and is responsible for casting; he or she also directs the rehearsals. Since there is no script for the Mark Drama, a trained director is essential so that your acting team know what to do.
But fear not, Mark Drama Australia has a team of directors who are keen to assist you. Please talk to us early so we can co-ordinate schedules and send you a director who’ll be available to help with your production.
3. Get your Church or Christian group on board
Run an Information Session for everyone: For the drama to go well, you want lots of people excited about it. The best way to do this is to run an Information Session, led by the director, at least two months prior to your preferred performance dates. The aim of this session is to introduce the Mark Drama to anyone who may be interested in helping with the production – whether they want to act, make tea, set up chairs or invite friends, it’s good to have your whole Church or student group on board. Those at the Information Session get to sample how easy it is to memorise the content of Mark’s gospel, and to also improvise one or two of the scenes.
So invite lots of people to your Information Session, and make it clear that attendance does not mean you’ve signed up to act. Getting many to this generates greater excitement about the show, so that your church or Christian group will be more eager to pray, support the project, and invite their friends.
Selecting the Cast: After the Information Session, everyone has a few days to decide if they want to join the acting team, and the director selects the cast (in consultation with the producer; please don’t select the cast before the Information Session). The cast consists of 15 members – 7 women and 8 men (of whom one is willing and suitable to play the part of Jesus). Actors should be 15 years or over – but a good age spread is ideal. You don’t need professional actors in any way. You simply need people who are willing to memorise the order of events in Mark’s gospel, have a voice that can be projected across a room full of people, and enthusiasm to teach others the story of Jesus.
4. Learn the lines
Provided a full cast has been selected, a timetable is then worked out for the acting team so they can co-ordinate their memorisation of Mark’s gospel. Every two weeks, the actors meet to test each other, get to know one another, and pray for the whole project.
During these 6 weeks of learning, the actor playing Jesus has more to do, but the director works with the Jesus actor to aid his memorisation of the Biblical text.
5. Advertising and Promotions
You’ll need to advertise and promote the event within your neighbourhood, community or university. But this is easy, and the Mark Drama Australia team have some promotional material to assist you with this.
“It is an excellent easy-invite, non-cringe evangelistic event for non-Christians (ideal pre-Christianity Explored/Alpha), and also a really inspiring way for Christians to experience the power of Mark’s gospel freshly.” – Vaughan Roberts, Rector of St Ebbes, Oxford, and Director of The Proclamation Trust
“Every church longs to encourage its congregation to reach out with the good news of Jesus in new, meaningful, helpful and engaging ways – whilst at the same time avoiding that which is cringe-worthy or sentimental. The Mark Drama allows the words of the bible to speak for itself – the Word does the work – and in The Mark Drama many participants join together to spread the Word… It is so easy to invite friends along!”
Revd Gareth Lewis, Senior Minister, Christchurch Harpenden
6. Rehearsals and performances
Here is the usual schedule for a church production of The Mark Drama (university groups are similar but the timing can be more flexible):
- First Rehearsal: Thursday (7.30pm till 10pm)
- Second Rehearsal: Friday (7.30pm till 10.15pm)
- Third Rehearsal: Saturday (9am till 4pm)
- First Performance: that same Saturday evening
- Second Performance: Sunday evening
Performances usually last between 80 and 90 minutes, without an interval.
Some groups do both performances at their own location; others partner with another Church or Christian group and perform at multiple locations.
Here are the basic steps towards putting on a Mark Drama production:
- We’ll help you find a trained Mark Drama director near you. Just send us an email.
- Arrange a date with the director for an Information Session at least 8 weeks before your hoped-for performance dates. (Important: Please do not try to find volunteers to join the acting team before the Information Session!)
- If, after the Information Session, you have a team of 15 actors (8 men, 7 women), then the team can start learning, and your production of The Mark Drama will take place in 6-8 weeks’ time.