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Number of Pages: 106
Vendor: CSS Publishing
Publication Date: 2007
|Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)|
Author: Keith Hewitt
Located in: Trevor, WI
Submitted: October 12, 2007
Tell us a little about yourself. I am a lay speaker and co-youth leader at a small church in Southeastern Wisconsin, where I also taught middle and high school Sunday School classes for seven years. (My wife is the Sunday School Superintendent, so I couldn't say no.) I've been writing plays for our church since 1999. We have a daughter, a son, and several dogs and cats.
In my day job, I work as a quality analyst in the IT Department of a leading safety testing organization.
What was your motivation behind this project? When I was a child, going to Sunday School, my old church literally did the same Christmas program every year from the time I was in kindergarten through sixth grade (and may still be doing the same one now, for all I know). While there is a certain charm to tradition, it seemed to me that the story itself lost all meaning as it was repeated in exactly the same wayline for line, word for wordyear after year. It became a story of cardboard figures, told by rote. The plays in this book are meant to be the antithesis of this sort of storytelling--to make the audience sit up pay attention, because it's not the story they've heard a thousand times before. By using a parody of today's TV to build a format familiar to todays audience, and then transferring it to the Nativity setting, we can tell a story about how common people are affected by incredible events. Then, by twisting the lens just a bit to change the focus, we can have some anachronistic fun at the expense of those characters as they learn a lesson, and still convey the core truths of the Nativity story.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? I hope they will be encouraged to take a fresh look at old events. We can learn a lot about ourselves, and our relationship with God, by looking at things from a different perspective. Also, by being entertaining and slightly outside the norm, we can engage people in the story of Christmas, and help them remember the really important aspects of that moment in history.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? I grew up reading the old school science fiction masters (Heinlein, Clarke, Asimov), sprinkled liberally with history books. One of the books I read early on, that first taught me that a serious subject could be treated with humor was one man's account of his experiences in the Office of Strategic Services (a forerunner of the CIA) during World War II--"You're Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger." My interest in history is wide ranging, from ancient to contemporary, and I think it has helped me write these plays.