The expression of the Gospel message through the arts has survived as one of the most beloved and celebrated forms of ministry. Eastern’s performing arts ministry, Transformed, is continuing this trend.
Originally established as a creative tool to advertise the university and interest prospective students, Transformed has evolved into a full campus ministry and a strong creative outlet for Eastern students. Through the use of dramatic and musical performances, the group provides audiences with an opportunity to experience the Gospel message as well as other faith-based topics in a unique way.
After letting their dramatic talents shine in a brief monologue performance during fall semester auditions, students are given the opportunity to partake in an interview with Transformed members. A group of eight or nine students are eventually chosen to represent the group.
“The process was very laid back,” junior Kendra DeMicco, a veteran member of Transformed, said. “It was a lot more fun than nerve-racking.”
With meetings two times a week to practice student-written, edited, and produced scripts and to unite in fellowship and Bible study, Transformed is certainly a group that is much more than a drama club.
“The unity and fellowship within the group is probably the most meaningful part of the whole experience for me,” DeMicco said. “It’s really like a family.”
The group also visits off-campus locations like home churches, homeless shelters and halfway houses. Trips are made as often as twice a month, usually on weekends.
“We practice a wide range of things so that we can meet the people where they are at with our performance,” junior Chris Packard, director of Transformed, said in an email.
Members of Transformed are looking forward to a new series of spring performances beginning in April.
To make their ministry more public, the group is working on developing a digital media outlet so performances can be filmed with full costumes, settings and much more.
Also in the works is the attempt to involve the entire student body in Transformed productions. Not only will other students be able to take part in rehearsals, but aspiring writers can also submit scripts for the group to perform.
With all the new advancements, the main messages of the performance remains central. “Everything is based off of our love for God and our attempt to express that love,” DeMicco said. Each performance brings a different message, but both performers and audience members can benefit from the ministry.
“I hope that Transformed affords its members, on top of a place to express themselves fully through acting and dance for the Lord, a place to worship God with like-minded people,” Packard said.
At the same time, audiences are exposed to the Gospel in a different, yet fulfilling, way. Packard said, “I hope to show people that Christian drama doesn’t have to be cheesy or cliché in order to work. I hope that the audience encounters deep and meaningful people on the stage that will be reflections of themselves, so that they may have a way of confronting themselves through art.”