Perhaps you are familiar with The WordPlayers. Perhaps you knew The WordPlayers did “Christian Theatre”. Perhaps that’s all you actually knew, and you saw Godspell five years ago. Or was it six? No matter.  The WordPlayers is coming into a new season, in more ways than one, and it’s time you got to know us.

Did you know that aside from doing plays that are rated no worse than PG-13, The WordPlayers produces original works? Some folks who have provided original work for The WordPlayers for years, are doing some of their best writing yet. Some newer folks are writing pieces that will challenge you wherever you are, like the upcoming Advent musical short, Yet In Thy Dark Streets. As for the PG-13 comment, that was a joke.  We don’t use Hollywood cheap shots to get an R rating; our work is clean. However, don’t underestimate the heaviness we have been known to carry. If you haven’t seen that side of us, you need only ask.

Now, I am relatively new; you don’t know me. I am actually on staff now, which is an overwhelming honor, and a commitment I take very seriously. The truth is, God has done a lot of powerful work in and around The WordPlayers long before I showed up. I have great respect for that, and cannot wait to see what He will do next. You see, it is really a prophetic medium, this performing art. The prophets of old had to have a flare for the dramatic, and so we too must strive to bring the stories and teachings of God’s ancient, perfect, and unchanging Word to life. Sometimes, the people of God need to see how much we have in common with those who ended up shouting “Crucify him!” as in Never Too Late (the show toured during Lent). We need to be reminded that there is redemption for even the most unlikely people, like in The Spitfire Grill (our summer musical last month). We need to see our own stories played back to us with Playback Theatre (which was warmly received just this past weekend at Sherrill Hills Retirement Resort). We have to be willing to ask hard questions as in Doubt (produced in 2013), or see the look on Joseph’s face when his fiancée, Mary, tells him she is pregnant in Yet In Thy Dark Streets.

So, if you thought that The WordPlayers was just another Bible Belt, family-friendly entertainment group that did safe and convenient “sketches” all the time, then you don’t know us. We love family, we love Knoxville, and we love Jesus. For that reason, we will encourage families to follow Christ, and we will challenge the Church in Knoxville to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called” (Ephesians 4:1). So let’s get to know each other better, Knoxville; starting now. We are The WordPlayers … it’s a play on words. We’ve been around for about twenty years, and are still doing new things. Get excited.

Ethan Norman
Artistic Associate, The WordPlayers

Talk to me.