Lights Up! 2017 Tour Recap
Bright and early, Thursday, April 6, CAC’s Lights Up! Drama Troupe began its 6th annual tour taking live drama and improv to the masses. A grand time was had by all! The group presented a variety of skits, most of which were written by group members. Some of the items retold stories from children’s books (Amelia Bedelia and Miss Nelson’s Missing), Bible stories (Epic Rap Battles of the Bible and The Bible in Five Minutes) as well as children’s stories and songs (Hickory Dickory Dock, Bingo and Sick!). Sets were specifically designed for both elementary and secondary audiences with options to include scriptural material as appropriate.
As the tour began, Lights Up! received rousing welcomes from highly involved audiences at Harding Academy in Searcy. Following chapel presentations, a 90-minute theater workshop was conducted by the troupe under the direction of Holly Cannon, CAC’s drama teaching/long-term sub for Jenna Thomas, who was caring for the drama mascot, Milo Thomas. After a presentation at Searcy’s Sunshine School, the group headed east to Memphis. Following a visit to the Buckman Boys & Girls Club to provide some after-school entertainment, Lights Up! traveled to the Highland Church of Christ for lodging for the tour.
Friday was quite busy and productive as nine elementary-level performances were completed at four schools and two boys & girls club. One of the highlights was a visit to Memphis’ Rozelle Elementary School during the celebration of their centennial year. After a wonderful reception at two shows, it was at Rozelle, the arts magnet school for the city, that some of the group learned a valuable lesson; do not yell “group hug” in the presence of 2nd and 3rd graders as they ALL cooperate!
Saturday arrived with some rest before afternoon performances at the Healthy Memphis Festival. After shopping for nutritional items, organic lotions, essential oils and soothing salts, the group gave a most well-received performance to the involved and cooperative crowd in an outdoor setting. Saturday evening provided some time for bonding and a good meal and birthday celebration at the Kooky Canuck. A word of caution; be careful about ordering the Birthday Avalanche ice cream special. It is a LOT of ice cream.
The tour closed with three presentations to groups at the Highland church, two to their children’s worship (early and late services) and one to the teen group during Bible class time. The youth leaders at Highland provided great hospitality and facilities to call “home” during our stay. We appreciate their kindness which facilitated this beneficial and encouraging trip. Veteran member, Jessica Turner offered,
“There is a great benefit to us being able to perform this ministry to entertain and inspire the many children we contact. The time and effort are well worth it as we members benefit as much or more than those we serve.”
The trip summaries show 18 performances at 11 sites with over 1,800 in attendance. The numbers do not begin to relate the benefits Lights Up! members received with the opportunity to give and minister to many who were most appreciative of our kids’ talents and passion for performance and service. A special thanks to students Ashlyn Alexander, Davis Burton, Ean Burton, Ashley Ferguson, Jack Hastings, Kara Johnston, Colby Quattlebaum and Jessica Turner for sharing their talents and love in this ministry. Special appreciation goes to Holly Cannon and Amy Burton for providing guidance and supervision.
Written by Doug Killgore