Alabaster Theatre hosted a Storytellers Conference in April, bringing together fifty young Logan artists for a day of inspiring performances and practical workshops.
After a morning which included a dance performance and various Ted-like talks, the students attended workshops for ‘preachers’, ‘performers’ and ‘producers’, run by local artists.
These artists included professional performer Fiona Lynch, singer-songwriter Levi Jackson, singer-songwriter Jesse Hill, dance choreographer Ruth Humphries and performer Gabriel Blase.
The Christian-Faith Theatre Company hopes to spread stories of positivity and good-will, regardless of religious belief. Alabaster Theatre Founder and Director Bethany Carlos explains.
‘With the Storytellers conference we wanted to inspire people, but not just theatre people – we wanted to inspire poets and dancers, choreographers and writers and songwriters and producers.’
‘I think that there’s a niche there for people who believe in God, or even if they don’t believe in God, then telling hopeful stories or good stories.’
Alabaster Theatre performer Gabriel Blase believes the Storyteller’s Conference is a great opportunity for young artists to realise their gifts are relevant.
‘I think it’s a great opportunity,’ says Mr. Blase. ‘I think in some churches the artist can get isolated, so it’s a chance for them to be able to really marry ministry and their art together.’
It’s also about spreading a hopeful message in a meaningful, relatable way.
‘We find that a lot of people have walls between them and God, or religion, and allegories allow those walls to come down a bit,’ says Ms. Carlos. ‘Telling God’s story through theatre breaks down those walls for people.’
‘We love to make it exciting because it’s exciting for us.’
The excitement factor was displayed on the day, with a short performance of a bible story by members of the Alabaster Academy.
Stage-combat is another element on offer at the Academy and was on display at breakneck speed during the performance, a testament to the skill and commitment of those on-stage.
Ms. Carlos believes that faith-based stories are more important than ever in today’s culture.
‘We believe God is relevant to our culture and if we can use stories to connect people with hope and God, even if they don’t want to take the God factor, they will still walk away and experienced the story and hopefully God’s love, or some kind of hope.’
The Theatre is a one of a kind in Logan and it has not gone unnoticed, selling out capacity for the Logan Entertainment Centre in 2018 and being that year’s biggest show.
‘It was really humbling and lovely to know after so many years of bringing Art to Logan that it was paying off somehow,’ says Ms. Carlos.
‘We are passionate about this city, and we are passionate about making the arts more valued.’
‘We’re not going anywhere, we’re here for the long run and we just want to keep growing and keeping inspiring artists in Logan.’
Ms. Carlos believes that the community can benefit from experiencing the stories being told on-stage.
‘The Bible says, ‘I will tell a hidden truth,’ and that’s what we do, we tell hidden truths.’
‘The people that are hungry for God’s love or the people who really need it, they hear it, and they get it.’
The Christian-based Theatre hosts a number of original shows throughout the year. For more information, visit their website.