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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