Featuring a stellar cast and crew of more than 100 actors, singers, dancers and crew, Seeker: In Search of Wanderer runs Dec. 7-11 at Word of Life Church.
Performers from throughout Central Alberta are gearing up for the full-fledged and inspirational family-friendly musical theatre experience, says director Dian Layton, who is also children’s pastor at Word of Life.
She is also recognized as an international storyteller, playwright and author. Her Seeker series includes seven engaging titles beginning with Seeker’s Great Adventure. The latest is Carriers of the Kingdom.
For this year’s production, Seeker is joined by some Kingdom Pirates on a hilarious and heart-warming musical theatre adventure – to rescue Wanderer from the Island of Despair and set him free from the ‘Dragon Wrap.’
Shows run Dec. 7-9 at 7 p.m., Dec. 10 at 1 p.m. and Dec. 11 at 6 p.m.
Theirs is indeed something for everyone, from the award-winning music (winner of the Covenant Award for Children’s Album of the Year 2007), choreography, comedy to the heartfelt drama. As the poster for the show points out, “You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll hold your family a little closer.
“We’ve professionally produced all the music for all seven stories, and we actually did this play (In Search of Wanderer) in 2006,” explains Layton. “But I always thought we could do this one bigger and better.”
Layton adds that the story’s themes also tap into the pain of personal brokenness and the impact of broken families.
Auditions earlier this year for In Search of Wanderer proved a challenge, as the talent presented to Layton and her team from the community was absolutely outstanding. She decided to form two casts.
Looking back, the original idea for Seeker came to her during her own spiritual quest back in the 1970s, and the stories have garnered international acclaim for their remarkable insight not to mention terrific, fast-paced adventurous sensibilities.
It was while working in Vancouver she became a Christian after feeling a profound emptiness for years. A journey of seeking was to follow, and that’s when the music really started. She also started working with children soon after. Throughout the Seeker series, Seeker consistently faces dangers from menacing dragons as his adventures unfold.
The awful dragons represent things like anger, fear or abuse. But victory comes as Seeker gets to know the King who wants to see people free, at peace and joyful.
It’s been a fulfilling journey for Layton seeing how the message of the Seeker series has changed lives. “I keep telling the cast that with Seeker, it’s not just a story.” Locations such as the ‘Island of Despair’ and nagging enemies like ‘bitterness’ and ‘discouragement’ are obviously conditions and realities that people everywhere face in their lives.
But there is hope. “The children are learning to overcome obstacles with opposites. You overcome evil with good, you overcome darkness with light, you overcome sadness with gladness. There’s a song about choosing to have an attitude of gratitude no matter what’s happening in life.
“Our pep talk is ‘Let’s live this play; let’s not just go through the motions.”
Of course, the real hope lies in the miracle-working power of the King, who Seeker ultimately turns to for much-needed help and direction.
“The King is actually also going to talk to the audience and say that in life you will have a lot of brokenness and sadness, but you don’t have to go through life broken on the inside. You can be whole and confident.”
Tickets for Seeker: In Search of Wanderer ($12) are available at the Word of Life Church office, Scott’s Parable Book Store, or online at www.wordoflife.ca.
The Word of Life Auditorium is located at the south end of Taylor Dr. on England Way. There is rush seating only;, but groups and out-of-town guests can request reserved seating by calling 403-343-6570.
Check out www.seekerstories.com.