‘Christmas Images’ at Southside Baptist

Published 9:30 pm Friday, December 11, 2009

Among the many Christmas plays and cantatas that will be happening in the next two weeks, the one being performed at Southside Baptist Church was written by a local resident.

Ernie Chenault wrote “Christmas Images” 20 years ago to be performed at the Richmond church where he worshiped then. He has since moved to Suffolk and helped create the drama team at Southside Baptist Church.

“It’s a contemporary drama,” Chenault said. “It starts a couple of months before Christmas.”

The play, which runs about an hour and 45 minutes with an intermission, tells the story of Danielle Michaels, a modeling agent who is driven to succeed no matter the cost.

“She’s the successful woman who’s able to buy whatever she wants in her life,” Chenault said. “She is very successful in her life.”

However, around the end of October, Michaels runs into a problem that she “isn’t able to fix no matter what she does.”

“She has a sister who is dealing with a bad issue,” said Chenault, who didn’t want to give away too much of the plot. “The punch line is that through her sister’s trial, she realizes that God is seeking her.”

A third major character helps Michaels on her spiritual journey, and several minor characters contribute to the action as well, Chenault said. The play initially was written with a male in the main character, but it was rewritten for a female because “that’s where the talent was,” Chenault said. Stephanie Bollinger will play the lead role.

The play, which has no admission charge, will be performed Dec. 18-19 at 7 p.m. each night at Southside Baptist Church, 917 Carolina Road. Child care will be available through age 6. For more information, call 539-6629.