Theater Alert: Jonah Caught by Fish in Branson
What you are about to read is one of those very special places that I would hope that everyone would have the opportunity to visit. Because of the chaotic and challenging times we live in, it is vital that the human condition finds an escape to be refreshed, and reminded that love, peace, and joy still exist. Entertainment has always been a refuge for the soul, especially during war-time. The battles of life take on a new perspective when visiting a Sight & Sound Theater production. May you find your way there – you just might forget that the world looks like it’s falling apart – at least for awhile]
Most of us have heard the story of Jonah and the Whale – the reluctant preacher running from God’s call. However, do we really understand the rebellion of Jonah, and how he managed to get in so much trouble? We could really avoid many of the sticky messes we find ourselves in if we would simply listen to that still-small-voice within.
When you attend the incredible production of Jonah at the Sight & Sound Theater in Branson, Missouri, you will have a very clear picture of Jonah’s entanglements and how they relate to the troubles people face today. I so wish I had a vocabulary that could express the grandeur of the show and the uplifting spirit that permeates that theater. Perhaps there aren’t any words befitting for what my friends and I recently experienced.
From the moment a person sets foot in the lobby they are transported back 2000 years into a 2000-seat state-of-the-art theater. The curtain opens to a 300-foot stage, 40-foot high sets, elaborate costumes and special affects that boggle the mind. The message filtered through the plight of Jonah is presented with humor, adventure, a giant storm-tossed ship, and of course an enormous whale – presented with uplifting music that will move the unmovable. Adults as well as children are mesmerized by the fish floating above the audience, the sailing ships, the pirates, the chase for Jonah on the run, and the victory through Yeshua.
When I wrote about Noah, one of my favorite productions, I said, “Sight & Sound is bigger than Broadway!” That is no exaggeration! The Creator of the Universe shined down on Glenn Eshelman and poured out a creative talent that is unmatched in the world of theater. His gift of painting surfaced as a young child on his Pennsylvania family farm. His art eventually led him into a career of photography. Receiving requests to share his scenic photographs, Glenn and his wife Shirley searched for a unique way to present them. They produced their first multimedia slide show using a single slide projector and screen, along with a turntable and microphone to provide sound.
Their overwhelming success of the Wonder of It All in the summer of 1975 provided enough seed money to purchase three acres of land in Strasburg, Pennsylvania – where the original Sight & Sound Auditorium was born. Eventually live actors were added to the productions. After dozens of successful productions on the East Coast, Branson, Missouri welcomed the magnanimous Sight & Sound Theatre to the Ozarks. Tour buses filled with young and old make their yearly trek to see the newest productions. In Lancaster, PA you can see the World Premiere of Moses (2014). And of course Jonah is waiting for you in Branson.
April Shenandoah (Ambassador of Prayer Ministry) went from Show Business to Political Activist – until she found God’s Business was her calling and divine purpose. Her first book “So…Help Me God,” dealing with Politics & Religion, is now a Collectors Edition. Shenandoah also authored “Your Tongue Determines Your Destiny” and has appeared on a plethora of radio and TV shows. aprilshenandoah.com