November 11, 2011

A Word from Derek Martin - Director of As It Is In Heaven

Derek Martin - Director
What an exciting adventure this year is for the Regent Theatre. It is a marvelous feat to see all of our Mainstage plays examine the role of spiritual faith in our daily lives. The play I have been blessed to direct, As It Is in Heaven, has been labeled with the slogan “Faith Transformed,” and I couldn’t think of a more appropriate perspective on this compelling drama.

 As It Is in Heaven is about an interesting and often enigmatic religious sect that still exists in America, the Shakers. As I began my research into this group, I questioned whether the group was best categorized as a cult. I found that there were many communities of the Shaker faith that perhaps did become such. However, mainstream Christianity shares much with these hardworking believers who have committed their “Hands to work, and hearts to God.” That saying is the Shaker credo, coined by their matriarch Mother Ann Lee.

 The story at the heart of this play presents a challenging perspective on our own faith. It is about the transforming work God is always doing within us and how we must be careful to not miss where He is moving in our lives. How many times in history have we had our eyes closed to the incredible works of God because of our traditions, our limited perspectives, our fears, our need to belong, our frustrations, our pride, or our need to control? I know there have been times in my own life when I have missed God for just such reasons, and what a shame that is.

 This play ultimately questions our ability to see clearly the hand of God. We watch the Shaker women deal with the possibility that God might be showing up in a most unconventional way. We will be challenged as they are challenged to put our beliefs on the line and ultimately be transformed in faith and in life.

 I welcome you to take the challenge. Be transformed. Examine both the questions and the answers. After you leave this auditorium, keep your eyes open. God often moves in ways we least expect.

As It Is In Heaven runs from Nov. 18 - Nov. 20 and Dec. 1 - Dec. 4 in the Studio Theater.
Call the Box Office for tickets at 757.352.4245

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