~ by Trevor Phipps ~
Last weekend, Charis Bible College in Woodland Park touched the hearts of locals with their amazing “Heart Of Christmas” live performance.
The show, open to the public, played before a packed house for several days. The live play was inspirational, funny, and heart-warming all at the same time.
The show started with a story of a family that is struggling with remembering the true meaning of Christmas. The story line brings to light tough issues that families have dealt with over four generations. The broad timeline allowed the show’s producers to incorporate a number of styles of music and dress, including retro and hip hop.
The performance can best be explained as a “live play on steroids.” The set was developed in a way that established four different stage settings on one stage. During the performance, different areas of the stage would light up depicting the various settings.
The performance was put on in a special, unique way, allowing the audience members to feel like they were inside the story. During parts of the performance, characters of the story would come onto the stage through the audience. This gave the show a special interactive feel.
According to the show’s producer, Robert Muren, “Heart of Christmas” is created in a special way to make the story being told come to life. “I think it is a great way to tell a story,” Muren said. “It’s a great way to make the story come out of the pages.”
Muren is definitely inspired by the Charis experience.
Robert and his wife Elizabeth Muren moved their family to Woodland Park from Norway two years ago. The couple now works at the Charis Bible College in the Creative Arts department. They previously operated a production company in Norway. But the couple finally decided to load up all of the costumes and props, and head overseas and put on performances at the Charis Bible College.
All aspects of performance were top notch. The story was both educational and inspirational. The performance really did a good job at reminding the audience what Christmas really is all about.
Some of the show’s highlights included their amazing special effects, as the production combined videos on the huge projection screen, with the live action on stage. The lighting and sound effects were great and helped add to the story’s overall emotional impact.
Next year for the Christmas performance, Charis hopes to be able to use the new auditorium in the Phase Two of their construction process. Once the performances are moved to the new auditorium, the stage technology will be even more incredible, according to the producers.
The on-stage talent was another factor that added to their overall strength of last weekend’s performance.
The performers and technical support staff are all associated with the Charis Bible College in some way, whether they are current students, alumni, or staff. According to Charis Bible College President Andrew Womack, some of the performers are people that have been healed from ailments such as autism and Crohn’s disease.
The performance was the second of the two major performances that Charis Bible College puts on every year. The next performance, and the last one scheduled in the current auditorium, will be put on around the Easter holiday. According to Muren, the Easter performance is more biblical and concentrates more on the story of Easter.