Dec 23, 2007

This Year's Christmas Play "Mission: Possible"

The Nativity

This year our school returned a Christmas favorite at SDA, Mission: Possible, a Christmas play with Mission Impossible schtick. This is the third time that SDA School has done this play. The first production was in 1997, the year before Babs and I came to Saipan, and the second was in 2001, just before Babs became principal. It's a cute script with wonderful catchy songs, and on top of covering the usual Nativity basics--the stable, the shepherds, the wisemen and so on--it manages to highlight the reason Jesus came in the first place--for our salvation. For a Christmas play, it has a strong gospel message yet without being preachy or pushy. Plus it's a lot of fun! To the tune of the Mission Impossible theme, The choir creeps on stage dressed in black and wearing shades, there's a stable clubhouse with secret entrances, a showstopping bluesy King Herod number, and a "sandal phone"--a piece of high-tech heavenly hardware used by the angelic heroes of our story Agent 99 and her sidekick the Trip. The story revolves around the Bethlehem Kids, who are trying to solve the mystery surrounding the details of Jesus' birth and also Trip who for 35 billion years has been trying to earn his "wings" as an fully authorized Triple A agent.

I directed the play for the first time this year, and I'm happy to say that I was very un-stressed throughout the entire production. I'm not sure why--there certainly were a lot of details to worry about, but for some reason I remained resolutely worry-free. Perhaps, it was because a lot of the people working with me did a lot of stressing and worry! Babs rehearsed for hours with the choir and the soloists, Judith worked really hard to create quirky, fun, and creative costumes, as well as making the program for the evening. Missy and her team did a standout job on the set and backdrops, Eva, Veronyka, and Mai wrangled the younger kids during the younger program (Eva even got into a sheep costume to keep an eye on the little ones during the sheep scene), and Jessica managed to collect all the props and run the sound system. I deeply grateful for all the effort they put in to this play and in my opinion, they are the ones that made Mission: Possible possible!

Backstage in the hectic hour leading up to the opening curtain.

Our heros! Almost Angel Agent Trip, above and Triple A Agent 99, below.

In addition to the usual Biblical headgear, Judith had all the shepherds wear t-shirts she made with the slogan I Heart Sheep. Love it!

"King Herod" reinvented by Judith as a girl gansta. She was brilliant in the role.

Two of the Bethlehem Kids.

Our Innkeeper.

As usual the pre-school kids kicked things off with a mini-program of their own.

Here are the sheep on stage. (This pics special for Britni. . .see any familiar faces Brit? I confess I did refer to one of them in a moment of aggravation as a "black sheep". . .sorry abut that).

"Herod" belts out "Go Down to Bethlehm", with our "Wise women", Trip, and Agent 99 on back up. (We had a real shortage of boy actors so a lot of the traditionally male roles like the innkeeper, Herod, and the wise men were given to girls).

The angels reveal themselves to the shocked Bethlehem Kids as Mary and Joseph prepare to flee to Egypt.

Agent 99 breaks down the plan of salvation to the Bethlehem Kids during the song "Mission of His Heart"

Curtain Call: Herod's "Fan Girls" and Rabbis

Curtain Call: Wise Women and Shepherds

Curtain Call: The Bethlehem Kids

Curtain Call: Trip and 99 (Notice Trip is now wearing the Triple A belt, cap, and wings having successfully earned his Triple A status at the end of the play).

Curtain Call: Missy's crew. Three of the boys also worked with Kinder and first grade students during the play, keeping them out of trouble and they did a fantastic job.


Mai said...

Good job on directing the play - it turned out really good!

Beverly said...

Sean and Barbara (and the whole team) You guys did an amazing job with this play and the kids! I really loved it! I actually started to feel like it was Christmas that night of the play=) See you soon and Happy holidays!

the Purpose said...

I love the pics of the kids. Boy I really miss Trip and his bro. It was nice seeing my students again. Glad this one was less stress, for ya. I guess that's maturity, buddy. Take care.

Jordan Olling said...

It appears as though it's impossible to find "Mission Possible" anywhere online, except for its songbook. Do you know where you got the listening/accompaniment CD(s)? I was in this musical in 2nd grade (1998), but I've lost my cassette tape and would really love to be able to hear these songs again.

Sean said...

Hi Jordan. My wife was just talking about doing this musical again this year and wondering where we could get the music. It sounds like finding it won't be easy. If we come across anything I'll let you know.

Jordan Olling said...

You guys don't have the CD(s) anymore? Not even the instrumental accompaniment CD? I think someone might be selling a used booklet and cassette tape on Amazon, but that's all I found. Another video on YouTube exists that includes portions and samples from the CD for a photo slideshow. I can track these two things down again if you can't find them.

Sean said...

No. We left at the school where we used to teach. That was 8 years ago and the school has since moved to a new campus. Even if they do have it I don't know if they would know where it was