First UMC in Sacramento Sets About to 'Stage a Miracle'

July 29, 2009

First United Methodist Church in Sacramento is "Staging a Miracle" next weekend. The midtown church's five-week summer theatre program for children and youths culminates in a series of performances for the public on Saturday, August 8 and an encore presentation after worship service the following day.


Staging a Miracle targets low-income members of the community, providing transportation to the church and a meal for the participants, their parents, and younger siblings. While the young actors run lines, learn dance steps and songs, and construct backdrops, the parents - who are required to accompany them - are provided with activities of their own. This year some have been learning drumming, and will be a part of the production.


Last year around 25 kids took part. This year there are 48 - with another dozen or so younger siblings in the nursery or taking part in activities designed for them.


The program is funded by numerous grants and donations, in addition to what the church contributes.


Michael Miiller, formerly director of the River City Theatre Company in Sacramento, creates the play, with input from the kids, and directs. He approaches the summer with a few songs and a concept, and the final work grows organically. This year he also brought in a team of respected colleagues from the Sacramento fine arts community to provide specialized coaching to the kids.


For the performances, an elevated 32 x 16-foot stage is built in the courtyard of the church. Chairs are brought in for the audience and musicians play from the "wings" of the open-air theatre.


The play this year is titled A Hand Out for Hope, with run time of between half an hour and 45 minutes.


The public is invited to attend any of the performances: Saturday evening, Aug. 8, at 6:00, 7:00 and 8:00, and following 10:30 a.m. Sunday worship service on Aug. 9. Admission is free.


For more information contact Cathy Cook, Director of Children's Ministries, at 916.446.5025, Ext. 106.


First UMC is located at 2100 "J" Street, Sacramento, CA 95816.