Today Allison's grade 4/5 class did a presentation of "Stations of the Cross", and parents, staff, and other students were invited to attend. It was a very impressive performance. The boy who played Jesus was dressed in white, while the others wore dark clothing. Their only props were three large crosses. With dramatic music playing softly in the background, the children would move into position to enact some particular part of the Easter drama (e.g. Simon carrying Jesus' cross, the soldiers pounding the nails, Jesus' followers weeping, etc.), and then they would freeze. At that point the overhead projector was turned on for a few seconds so that the scene was lit up and shadows cast on the wall. Then the projector would be turned off and the children would move into position for the next scene. It was amazing to see how quickly and smoothly they took their positions, how expressive their poses were, and how serious and grave they were in performing.
The whole series of tableaux took only 5-10 minutes. Afterward, Allison's teacher invited members of the audience to ask questions of the characters. It was very interesting to hear the children's answers: one boy, for instance, said that his character didn't really want to crucify Jesus, but "they might kill me if they knew I was on Jesus' team" and "Pilate might fire me and I need my job to support my family." The girl who played Mary said, "I was really sad that they were killing my son, and I was afraid they might kill me too." Allison's character said, "I was sad that Jesus died because my daughter had been sick and Jesus had healed her." On a lighter note, a teacher complimented the students on how well they had stayed in character, and one boy said emphatically, "Well, it wasn't easy!"
I'm very glad I didn't miss this beautiful presentation. I have been to many Good Friday services but this was so simple and touching and the children took it so seriously.