Southside Baptist prepares for its new Christmas production

Published 8:04 pm Monday, December 14, 2020

UPDATE: “Draw Close,” the Music and Drama presentation scheduled for this weekend at Southside Baptist Church, has been postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. The church now plans to present it at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 27 as the Sunday morning worship service. It will still be live-streamed that day as well. Visit www.sbcsuffolk.org for more information.

Earlier: An original Christmas play will focus on the unique year of 2020 and its meaning for those who follow Christ.

Southside Baptist Church is preparing for this year’s Christmas production, “Draw Close.” The production will take place at 6 p.m. Dec. 19 and 20. Guests can view the show in person at the church, 917 Carolina Road, or virtually to limit gathering numbers.

This production is an original by Ernie Chenault, who has written productions for Southside Baptist Church for past Christmas and Easter services, including “Home for Christmas,” “Plans for a King” and “Bread of Life.”

This play reflects on the events of the year 2020. It follows a couple as they debate gifts for their family this Christmas while glancing back at the life of Jesus Christ.

“Working on the premise that there has never been a year quite like 2020, the play reflects on how Jesus was often approached and dealt with people who also were diseased, outcast and disenfranchised from the community,” said Chenault. “The drama is an unusual approach to the telling of the birth of Jesus.”

In this play, viewers will see husband and wife Steve and Julie, played by Jason Thompson and Tiffany Butler, as they prepare for Christmas in 2020. The play will also show scenes of Jesus’ ministry, including His conversation with the woman at the well and the demon-possessed man as well as healing a leper.

“The Christmas theme is appropriate both because it is the final religious holiday of the year and because it recognizes and celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, who came to save the world, both the fortunate and the unfortunate, the healthy and the unhealthy, the Jew and the Gentile,” said Chenault.

The play will open with a choral presentation of four Christmas songs. A bridge of quotes from the year will flow into the beginning of the play. According to Chenault, the entire production, including the opening songs and closing remarks, should last around an hour.

COVID-19 restrictions are in place to keep the audience and performers safe. Masks are recommended, as is online viewing to keep numbers down.

“Recognizing the need to minimize the number of participants, many of the actors are also filling the roles of the extras,” said Chenault. “Extensive efforts were made to minimize the number of participants and rehearsal times.”

There will be ASL signing for the hearing impaired provided at the Dec. 19 performance, and

childcare will be provided for children under the age of 3. There are many options to view online. Visit Southside Baptist Church’s Facebook page or YouTube channel, watch the live stream at sbcsuffolk.org/sbc-live, or watch on the Southside Baptist Church app available on Roku or Apple TV. For more information, please call 757-539-6629.