So for this final week of research blogs I thought it would only be fitting to begin to write the show and reflect on this tremendous journey I have been on with my new friend John Wesley. For today’s blog I wanted to reflect on how this journey truly began as well as a dream that I had during this research process.
As I have told many friends before, I have had an idea to write a show about Methodism and the people involved, and who was not more involved than John Wesley. I left undergrad constantly thinking about how I would use my theatre background at seminary. After my first year on campus I began to think of ways I could try and use my theatre knowledge. The chapel on campus has a lighting system that can be used for theatre, and then I learned that the campus used to have a group of students and staff that performed theatre shows. That group had long been disbanded and there was nothing currently going on. So I then decided this needed to be changed, I just needed an opportunity to show itself.
This is when I was graced to take United Methodist History. In this class many people talked about the different images of John Wesley. Some of which were good, some of which were not so good. In any case, however, they often were only pictures, stories, or movies. I did not encounter any portray of John on stage. It was then and there that I decided that it was time to begin a journey that would change my life. I then talked with the professor of the class and she was just as enthusiastic as I was. She guided me into looking further into other theatrical shows about John Wesley. To my surprise I found many but none that have been really successful or modern. By modern, I mean something that was around after the 1980s. I understand I make take some flak for that, but it is my opinion. I see that John Wesley has not been shown on stage for quite some time and that needed to be changed.
I then went into the process of making this be for credit, and getting the approval of the school. I thought this would be the point that would end the journey. I honestly felt that the school would not agree with me on undertaking this project, but to my surprise, they were more than excited to go on this journey with me. There are some professors that have told me that they would like to see it performed when the show is finally finished. I was also surprised to hear that almost all the students I have told about this project, have told me that they would love to be in the show. Many of which whom want to be John’s mother Susanna. I truly hope that the show is completed and edited to the point that I feel comfortable with allowing it to be performed. I cannot say that I am not super excited to see it performed. This brings me to my dream, one in which it is performed.
In my dream I had completed writing the show and it had been performed at the seminary. To my surprise there were many different upper level United Methodist pastors and staff was in attendance. At the end of the show some of the people from the greater church were wondering what I wanted to do with the show further. I told them my idea to have the show be shared with Methodists in America and around the world. I told them that I see it as a traveling show and that being a ministry all in itself. To my surprise they agreed and told me that they wanted to have me travel with the show, help cast it, and make changes as the show tours. I was so happy to have that happen. Unfortunately I woke up after that moment, but I now have a new goal for this show. My goal is to see this show tour the United States and then the world. I want Methodists to embrace the show, and go see it. I want to see how far the show can go. Does it have Broadway capabilities, I do not know, it is not written yet. But no matter what I plan on seeing this show through to the end, whatever that ends may be. Until then, I will blog, write, and enjoy this journey with John Wesley, I hope you keep following cause this ride is now picking up some speed.
This first post I want to reflect on how the idea for doing this independent study was formed and where I hope it goes as this journey continues. I have always had a love for the theatre and as a United Methodist, have had an interest in the man John Wesley. I have seen movies about this man, heard stories in the church and now in seminary. However, I have never been able to get a true understanding of who this man was not only as a founder of the Methodists, but also as a person in general living in the 18th century.
When I was given to take this journey as an independent study, with the final project being to take all this information and write a theatre drama for the stage, I was excited. I am able to combine my love of theatre with my love of my Methodist roots. This journey is one that will span over several months and I hope that you enjoy this blog as much as I will enjoy writing it. So let the journey begin!!!!