News and Updates

Upcoming May/June productions

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Missed seeing The Mark Drama this Easter? Or want to see it again? If you’re in Melbourne or Sydney, you can!

Sydney:

St Martin’s Anglican Church, Georges Hall
176 Birdwood Rd, Georges Hall NSW 2198, Australia
Saturday 25/05, 7:30pm
Sunday 26/05, 3:30pm

Summer Hill Anglican Church
2 Henson St, Summer Hill
Saturday 09/05, 7:30pm
Sunday 10/05, 3pm

Melbourne:

St Hilary’s, Kew
12 John St, Kew
Saturday 01/06, 7:30pm
Sunday 02/06, 7:30pm

 

The Mark Drama in Melbourne

Melbourne UniLast month, Melbourne University Christian Union performed a production of the Mark Drama. An audience member reflects…

The Mark Drama at Melbourne University Christian Union was a tremendous, God glorifying success. It was amazing to watch the cast, many of who didn’t have any acting experience, jump between different characters.  I loved seeing the joy on their faces as Jesus healed them. And then I mourned with them as they hurled insults at him in character. It looked hard work!

We are all thankful for Jakob, who studied the words and character of Jesus, and played him so sincerely. It was obvious that the cast were dwelling richly on the message of Christ as they worked for him and not for human masters (Colossians 3:16, 23). I was so encouraged to see them all lap up the opportunity to share this Good News with housemates, friends and families. Many audience members were deeply moved by Mark’s gospel – some even cried. What a joy it was to see so many take home a copy of Mark’s gospel- there were only three copies left by the end! We are praying for these people as they continue to investigate Jesus’ life-renewing invitation to follow him – please join us.

Producing The Mark Drama wasn’t easy – it was hard getting a full team, our cast was tired from study, and we lost our planned venue in the week we were practicing! But we were encouraged by the prayer and support from our brilliant director, Dan and our wider Christian Union. On the final night, there was a definite sense of awe and reverence in the room; God has been and will continue to be at work through this Mark Drama experience.

We are hoping this will be the first of many Mark Drama performances at Melbourne University!  

Christ in Campbelltown

 

On 13th and 14th April 2019, Campbelltown Anglican Churches performed the Mark Drama. We were blessed to have more than 200 people come along each night, and the performance was very well received by many in the church and those who had not attended the church before. The cast members worked tirelessly to prepare for the drama, reading over Mark’s Gospel and memorising its structure, so that by the first rehearsal they knew the gospel well and were well-prepared to play the various roles.

After the final performance, we asked some of the actors to reflect on their experience of acting in the Mark Drama. Here were some of their responses:

  1. What was your favourite scene of Mark Drama and why?

“The widow’s coins. After the boasting of the rich about their offerings, the simplicity and poignancy of the widows offering was powerful.” – John, who played various roles including John the Baptist, Herod and the High Priest

“My favourite scenes included the Parable of the Tenants. The beautiful symbolism of the parable is made so clear in the Drama and was great to see.” – Siva, who acted as Andrew

“One of my favourite scenes was Jesus teaching in the temple, I just love the discussion about some really important topics and the way that again and again Jesus affirms the authority of the scriptures as God’s word to us.” – Cameron, who played Simon Peter.

 “I think the crucifixion scene was the most powerful for me. The significance and visceral nature of the suffering Jesus experienced is bought to life in a way that isn’t always conveyed through text alone.” – Josh, who acted as John.

  1. What did you enjoy about the acting experience?

“Really enjoyed working together with fellow Jesus-loving church members and that the drive to act to the best of our ability was for the sake of ensuring people could hear God’s Word and bring Him glory.” – Siva

“It was a great challenge for me and something quite different. I got to push emotional boundaries particularly in Gethsemane and crucifixion scenes. I had never made myself cry on stage before this.” – Dean, who played Jesus

“I enjoyed being a part of the story of Mark, it felt so much more real for me actually being in the story and seeing these events unfold around you as it would have happened for the disciples.” – Cameron

  1. What impact do you think the Mark Drama has had on you?

“The Mark Drama actually really opened my eyes to things that I hadn’t thought about including the healing of the blind man in two parts – I had never realised that it was to represent the disciples lack of understanding. There were so many things I took away from this experience – it was really enlightening.” – Siva

“It forced me to engage in the scriptures which I struggle to do and made me realise Jesus was not always angry with everyone and made me engage with the compassion of Christ.” – Dean

“It has made me appreciate more fully just how informative, real and dynamic the gospels are, they have so much detail in them as they describe real events from the real eyewitnesses.” – Cameron

  1. What impact do you think the Mark Drama has had on your church?

“I saw a bunch of people tearing up or crying during the last section and ended up crying myself – I think reading God’s Word is one thing but seeing it presented in a drama also helps to highlight that yes, this did happen and yes, Jesus did die for you and your sins on the cross. I think it has moved a lot of people and prompted a lot of thoughts!” – Siva

“I think it was profound for those who experienced it. Hopefully, their reward in seeing it and speaking about it will encourage others to read Mark’s Gospel to re-discover the real Jesus.” – John

 “I felt a great energy from the audience after the show. I felt it encouraged people to engage with the scriptures in a new, creative and exciting way. It also gave an opportunity to evangelise in a way that would be entertaining, thought provoking and challenging to guests that were brought.” – Dean

“I think it really helped the church to see the vision of what we want people to be won to as Christians, that is, the real life, death, resurrection and reigning Lord Jesus. I think it was also a really good event for the whole to church to have an easy invite for non-Christians to come and hear about Jesus.” – Cameron

  1. Why would you recommend the Mark Drama?

“It provides an intimate, intense and engaging experience to the audience that motivates one to connect or reconnect with the gospel and what that means to us all.” – Dean

“It’s just such an amazing experience and it concludes in such a brilliant manner with the women walking away asking “is this true?” prompting the viewers to think. It’s been a great way to begin conversation with my non-Christian friends who have remarked on how touched they were by Jesus’ story and are curious to see more.” – Siva

“As Christians, I feel we (or we should) spend our whole time trying to share Gods word with people. It is not common to have someone so willing to read the bible with you, let alone a whole gospel in one sitting. Yet with the Mark drama, we can share the whole gospel, and our friends are not only willing to see it, but are excited, they will even bring along some of their friends. Anything that makes sharing Gods word easier is worth doing.” – Josh

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The Mark Drama in Melbourne!

The Mark Drama returns to Victoria next week as a team from the University of Melbourne puts on two performances.

Last year, the Mark Drama was performed across Melbourne and Geelong. We asked some of the actors from these productions to share their thoughts about how the productions went:

‘The Mark Drama helped me view Jesus more as a real-life person… I’ll always remember the scene when Pilate is asking what Jesus has done wrong, only to have everyone shout back to crucify Jesus. Knowing that Jesus was perfect but seeing the hatred in others which caused his death was really confronting. And Jesus willingly endured it! He was punished unjustly and he could have avoided it, but stayed because of his love and compassion for us, for me… Afterwards a young woman approached me to say how it made the story seem more real to her too!’

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‘Two friends of mine said they left loving Jesus more… They left all the more hyped up to tell people about Jesus!’

“I got to talk to people about the Mark Drama to my friends who came for weeks afterwards! People were so impacted by it and I thank God!’

Melbourne  friends, make sure you don’t miss out!

Performance times:
Tuesday 16/04/19 7:00pm
Wednesday 17/04/19 7:00pm

Location:
Junior Common Room, Queen’s College, College Crescent, Parkville

Tickets:
$10, book now to ensure a seat!

Easter performances in Sydney and Wollongong

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‘Don’t be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here!’ – Mark 16:6

‘There are plenty of Mark Drama productions happening all around the country this Easter. The following list are happening in Sydney and the Illawarra. If you’re curious to see the drama, want a different way to celebrate Easter or want to use the Mark Drama to introduce a friend along to Jesus, then take your pick from the following:

Campbelltown Anglican Churches

Performance times:
Saturday 13/04/19 7:30pm
Sunday 14/04/19 6:30pm

Location:
St Peter’s Church, Cordeaux Street, Campbelltown

Tickets:
Free but book now to avoid disappointment!

University of Wollongong (Uni Bible Group)

Performance times:
Wednesday 17/04/19 7:30pm
Thursday
18/04/19 6:00pm

Location:
Room G01, Building 24, University of Wollongong (near main carpark P2)

Tickets:
$5: book now to save a seat!

Barneys, Ultimo (St Barnabas Anglican Church, Broadway)

Performance times:
Friday 26/04/19 7:30pm
Saturday 27
/04/19 6:00pm

Location:
Barneys Church, Ultimo

Tickets:
Gold coin donation, but book ahead

 

No acting experience required

By Amy Cheng, Member of Grace Point Presbyterian, Lidcombe

“No acting experience required. Looking for people who love Jesus.” Those were the requirements to join the Mark Drama production at my church in Lidcombe.

I first heard about the Mark Drama from a missionary who had returned from the mission field. Sharing about her time on mission to a group of uni students at their annual conference, she talked about the production. As she described it, I grew more and more fascinated by the unusual aspects of it – no script, central staging, and actors interacting with the audience. I wanted to see it for myself, however, the Mark Drama had not made its way to Australia yet.

In 2015, I got my first chance to see it at Moore College, and was gripped and moved by it. A year later, I saw another production by Credo, which some of my friends acted in. I vowed to take part in it if it came to my church. I finally got that chance in 2018. There was no script to learn but all actors of the cast had to familiarise themselves with Andrew Page’s The Mark Experiment book. It was divided into six sections, with each section representing an aspect of Jesus’ life and ministry. The cast was given six weeks to read through, learn and memorise the sections. Memorising the sections was often a laborious process, with me constantly falling behind and needing to memorise two sections in one week.

Before I knew it, the week of rehearsals had arrived. We were given our roles just days prior to the first rehearsal ; I was cast as one of the plus cast. With just two days until production, no scripts, and a cast full of inexperienced actors, it seemed like an impossible task.

However, it all came together beautifully during rehearsals, and I sensed God at work helping to bring it all together. The directors also provided invaluable assistance in teaching us how to deliver our lines. The most valuable thing they taught us, however, was to pray for each other during the performance, particularly for the actor playing Jesus.

Soon, it was the night of the first performance. To say I was nervous would be an understatement. As the audience trickled in, I grew more and more petrified. What if I forget my lines? What if I can’t act convincingly? However, I reminded myself that this was not a performance to bring glory to myself but to God.

As a member of the plus cast, I had several roles to play. My favourite was the widower who offered up her two measly coins during offertory time. She gave all she had because she recognised the value of Jesus.

Acting in the Mark Drama was an unforgettable experience. Right from the memorisation process, rehearsals and through to performance day, I was able to see Jesus’s life and ministry in a different way. By putting myself in the shoes of those who were healed by Him, listened to His teachings, and witnessed His crucifixion, I marvelled at the great man that He is – compassionate, merciful, gracious, loving and infinitely wise.

Life sown in Springwood

Nestled on the shady edge of the NSW Blue Mountains, Springwood is blanketed with blossoms and bulbs in these greening spring months. But earlier this year, as the autumn leaves turned to brown, eternal seeds were sown…
“I first heard about The Mark Drama from my daughter who saw the production in Orange last year. I love creative ways of sharing the gospel! Springwood Anglican has a really energetic, committed congregation of young people, so I thought some might be keen to be part of it. Our Senior Pastor was supportive, so I took the plunge and became the Producer. Praise God for his faithfulness – Hundreds attended our two performances in March. God answered our many prayers for the cast’s memorisation, and we were just thrilled that the Gospel was communicated so clearly.” Judy 
 
“When I first heard about The Mark Drama, I was eager to be involved. Initially, it looked like an exciting event! But the weeks leading up to the rehearsals were a little bit daunting. Learning the sequence of events in Mark’s Gospel was not easy! However, as rehearsal time approached I improved in my recollection of the details. God’s word is now written on my heart!” From an actor.
 
“There were moments of challenge for me as part of the cast. Being the centurion beside Jesus on the cross was extremely moving. I had tears streaming down my face. And the challenge of acting out the brutality of the trial scene before Caiaphas and Pilate was quite confronting. Finally, I truly appreciated our Director’s style in directing and coaching the cast. I don’t think I have ever met someone so encouraging and helpful for myself and others in unfamiliar roles.” Warren Irwin
 
Of the hundreds who came to see The Mark Drama in Springwood, many were struck by the goodness of Christ’s sacrifice for sinners.
“Thank you for your work and effort. It was stark, edgy and confronting. Christ did suffer for us… I felt so unworthy… I was sitting near the ‘cross scene’ – WOW.”
“I just wanted to thank you, your staff team and the organisers of The Mark Drama for an amazing experience last night. It was a challenging and moving experience. It is so important to see the Gospel presented in various ways so we do not become settled in the message we have heard so many times.”
 
On Sunday night, I attended The Mark Drama. I would like to thank you deeply for putting this on – not only for the growth of those who follow Christ, but also for the attendees who do not know much about Jesus. It was so incredible and spirit moving in how the gospel was brought to life.”
May God use the words sown to bring fruitful life to those in Springwood and beyond.

Sowing in Queensland

Our hearts are breaking for those in Queensland affected by the drought. Reports estimate that almost 60% of the state is now suffering drought conditions. We pray the Lord will have great mercy and send plentiful rain.

We pray likewise for God’s word to go out and refresh those in Queensland with the certain hope in Christ. If you’re in the area, please come along to these upcoming performances and invite your friends.

 

Townsville
Date: Monday 13, Tuesday 14 August
Time: 7:30pm both nights
Place: The Refect, Building 12, James Cook University
For more information, please visit the Facebook event page here.

Brisbane
Date: Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 September
Time: 7.00pm both nights
Place: 141 Ann Street, Brisbane City
For more information please call 0408 708 274.

Why is the Mark Drama so popular?

This week many Anglican Churches in the South Sydney diocese are proclaiming Christ through their joint mission, “Jesus is____”. From Sutherland to Sussex Inlet, from the Wollongong coast to Campbelltown, Christians are busy inviting the community to hear why the world is lost without its maker. At Mark Drama Australia, we’re buzzing with excitement for the eight churches performing the Mark Drama during this mission (not to mention the other performances around the country).

While MDA is always excited about the Mark Drama, it seems the hype is catching! Read our latest review on the Sydney Anglicans website –> https://sydneyanglicans.net/blogs/mark-drama