Here is the Church, Here are the Steeple Chasers

by Tim Posada '05

First there was Shakespeare. Then there was Stanislavski. There are those who still believe in the power of the curtain call and the spotlight, and the APU Theatre Arts Program is one such group. Continuing this tradition of dramatic arts, APU’s traveling ministry show, Steeple Chasers, opened for APU before taking their message to churches in the spring. Steeple Chasers was written by Thom Parham, Ph.D., associate professor of communication studies , and Brian Mercer, APU theatre coordinator and director. This play, the Theatre Art Program's newest traveling ministry show, tells the story of a pastor who lost his wife and son in a car accident. His two daughters struggle with the loss through anorexia and rebellion, but the pastor is too tied up with his parishioners to notice. The story portrays different types of people who can sometimes be found at a church: the sweet elderly woman, the church gossip, the "perfect" couple having an affair, the young engaged couple, and the two friends who can't stand each other but accidentally get their hands super-glued together. “It’s a ‘dramedy’ - a serious play with comic overtones,” said Mercer. “It’s ER meets Seventh Heaven.” Rehearsals began prior to fall semester, and the group’s first performance occurred for APU students in the High Sierra Program at Bass Lake near Yosemite National Park. With 16 cast members and a van full of dreams, this show will appear at more than 20 different churches throughout the spring semester. “It’s unlike any other show at APU,” said Janet Esber ’05, who plays Penny and also did last year's traveling ministry show, Joe. “It’s much more rewarding because we bring up struggles in the church and get a chance to talk with each congregation about them.” To find out future Steeple Chaser dates and locations, call the Theatre Arts office at (626) 815-6000, Ext. 5035. For more information or a calendar of upcoming shows, visit www.apu.edu/theatre/.