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Mary: A Star is Born

Updated: Jan 6

Here's your program with info, discussion questions, and journal prompts. Enjoy!

To download a PDF of this program, click below.

Mary-A Star is Born Program
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Show notes:

This show was commissioned by the North River Church of Christ in 2017. Sherwin Mackintosh arranged the music around the theme of the song I composed and stood on stage the whole time at the keyboard, providing needed musical ambiance. Original lighting by Carrie Kelsey and sound by Chris Grubb. The original title was Treasures in Uncertainty.


The recording you will be watching, or have watched, was filmed in 2018 at a performance for an Advent service at the Springhouse Worship and Arts Center in Smyrna, TN. Lights by Jonathan Beaty and beautiful photography by David Warren. Chase Mackintosh arranged and recorded music. Direction assistance by John McGuire.


Runtime 30 min.


About the creator:


Katie has been writing and bringing Biblical women to life on stage since 2010 and finds no greater joy than connecting others to the reality of Biblical characters' lives and their relevance to us today. She studied English and Theatre at Piedmont College in Demorest, GA, and there created her first full length piece, Last Nights of the King, which she continues to perform. She works as a professional actor for stage, film, and commercials and also has spent several years teaching in the arts. Currently she is working to develop her first screenplay for the Swamp summer camp and collaborating on two new musical scripts. She lives in Antioch, TN with incredibly supportive husband, T.J.


Artistic license:

I have done my best to present the most accurate portrayal of Mary that I can based on Biblical and extra-Biblical research, however, I do not claim that my views are how it actually happened or how she actually felt. I am merely presenting one way in which Mary could have responded to her miraculous experience in the hope that her life can become more accessible to us.


It is the trouble of writing anything that one's views change and details once included are found inaccurate. I have decided to let this show stay as it is without endless editing, but I thought it would be worthwhile to note:

  • In the first scene, Mary claims Luke is half-Greek. I do not know if this was so. There is debate about Luke's ethnic background. There are arguments that he was Jewish, that he was a proselyte (and therefore accepted as Jewish) and that he was fully Gentile. Staking a claim in one of these camps is not my purpose for this performance, though I believe the conversation on his ethnicity is important to inform how we read his works. Regardless, I find it plausible, since Luke writes more of the women than the other gospel writers, that he did interview Mary- or at least someone extremely close to her.

  • I place elderly Mary in Ephesus living with John, as church tradition holds. However, I acknowledge there is debate about the end of her life and the identity of the disciple whom Jesus loved, to whom he said, "This is your mother." Perhaps this was not John, but for the sake of this performance, let's just go with him.

  • Imagining life for a young woman (age 13-15) in ancient Nazareth is a stretch for us today, to say the least. Mary would have by this time become accomplished in all the skills necessary for running her own household (bread making, weaving, pottery, crafts, etc...) and for rearing children, having had much practice with siblings and younger children around her in her village. If you would like to learn more about ancient women, a growing field that has not been widely explored, I would suggest looking into Women's Lives in Biblical Times by archaeologist and professor Jennie R. Ebelling.

  • I pulled some ideas for my presentation of Mary from Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers. I highly recommend the read for personal reflection, however, I do not recommend looking to this or other Biblical historical fiction for accurate historical practices.


If reading this in preparation for the show:

  1. Read slowly, aloud, through Luke 1-2. Try to imagine these evens from Mary's perspective.

  2. If you're able, take some time at night to look at the stars. Don't take your phone.


Post-show discussion questions:

  1. What challenges to her faith did Mary face while pregnant with Jesus, and what got her through those challenges?

  2. What similarities do you see between Mary's times and experiences and our experiences in 2020?

  3. Why do you think God chose Mary over any other young girl?

  4. Do you feel chosen? Why has God chosen us?

  5. What treasures are you holding onto to secure your faith?

  6. What treasures can you pass on to help expand others' faith?

Journal prompts / Ideas for further study:

  1. How is God using unexpected things, events, and people in your life? Make a list of such things from 2020. What have you learned?

  2. What does it mean to be chosen? Look up all occurrences of the word "chosen" on Bible Gateway. When these people were chosen, how did they respond?

  3. What quality do you admire most about Mary? How can you imitate it this week?

  4. Gabriel addresses Mary as "favored." Do a word study on favor. Do you have favor from God? How does one get favor? How does knowing you have favor (in anything) change the way you think and act?

  5. What do you treasure most? Why?

  6. How is your faith right now? What assurances, like Mary's treasures, are you holding onto?


Other resources

I can't share enough about the helpfulness of Bible Project videos and podcasts. Here are some uniquely helpful ones for this season:

The curious person can also look to Doug Jacoby's website and podcast, full of juicy Q&A's and more articles than you can ask for.

Touching Wonder is a truly beautiful short book about the reality and wonder of Jesus' birth. I recommend it wholeheartedly.


Questions?

Your ticket also gives you access to a Behind-the-Scenes Zoom with me. I'm going to answer common questions, share more about the writing of the show, and respond to your questions and comments. Please join us:

Sunday Dec. 13th at 4 PM Central OR

Friday Dec. 19th at 7 PM Central


Friday's Zoom has been cancelled. Click here for the recording.




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