PARSIPPANY — For the eighth year in row the Parsippany United Methodist Church will present three performances of a full-length original Christmas play. The plays are written and directed by the church’s pastor, Jeff Edwards who has a broad background in theater and playwriting and an uncommon sense of imagination. “One of the great pleasures of these endeavors,” says Pastor Edwards, “is taking a diverse range of willing participants – many with little or no previous experience acting – conjuring roles for them to play, and then watching as they delight in the experience of creating something beautiful together beyond what they imagined possible.”
This year’s production is entitled, “Beyond the Veil.” According to Pastor Jeff Edwards, “as with our past dramas, I believe this play will move audiences with both laughter and tears, allowing them to catch a glimpse ‘beyond the veil’ of the true meaning of Christmas, and life itself. This play is our gift to those who find themselves worn down by the increasingly frantic and commercialized version of what this season of the year has become.” ‘
Many of the cast members return enthusiastically year after year, and over the years nearly eighty people have performed roles in the productions. This year’s production includes a cast of 32 actors ranging in age from four to beyond sixty, including seven adults, seven teenagers, and eighteen children. Beyond the countless hours of rehearsals, the productions involve plenty of behind the scenes work choreographing dances, creating elaborate sound tracks and video projections, building sets, adjusting lights, sewing costumes, collecting props and positioning microphones. In addition to the eight Christmas plays of recent years, the church has produced several other productions highlighting Holy week, Easter and Pentecost, as well as two original musicals by Laurie Zelman and two original small cast dramas by Pastor Edwards.
Performances are Friday, December 9 and Saturday, December 10 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 11 at 6:30 p.m.
The church is located at 903 South Beverwyck Road. The public is invited and admission is free; there will be a free will offering to support the ministries of the church.