This weekend, Victory Christian Center presents its free premiere of the newly written Christmas production, “Travelers,” Saturday, Dec. 13 at 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 14 at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
“Travelers” tells the story of Jesus’ birth, combining story points from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.
ORU Director of Theatre Courtneay Sanders co-wrote the show with Cody Daigle. The two actors attended school together at the University of Louisiana before Sanders transferred to ORU to complete her undergrad. Daigle now serves as the playwright for Sanders’ theatre company “Playhouse Tulsa.”
According to Sanders, they combined story points from the two gospels as opposed to giving one version of the events.
“It begins a little sooner and ends a little later than the typical ‘Christmas’ story,” Sanders said. “We’ve incorporated a few surprises: modern elements and new characters. It gives a new twist to the story we all know. I think it will give the audience a new perspective.”
Ryan Stafford directs the production, complete with live animals and a cast comprised of more than 200 people, ages ranging from babies to senior citizens.
It was important to Sanders that the characters be written as real-life individuals.
“So often we see Bible ‘characters’ written very unrealistically,” Sanders said. “We forget that they were real people who had hopes and dreams. They laughed, argued and were met with all of the complications of life that we encounter today.”
The production gives insight to the tribulations Mary would have faced in her society when she became pregnant.
“Looking back, we know Jesus’ conception was a miraculous event,” Sanders said. “However, at the time, Mary was just a young girl who was rejected by practically everyone she loved. How incredibly difficult must that have been for her? I’m really pleased that this production allows us to experience a new perspective on a traditional story.”
The free family event is expected to transport audiences to Bethlehem at the time of Jesus’ birth with a take on the classic story unlike any of Victory’s previous productions.
“There seems to be a lot of excitement surrounding this production. I can’t wait to see the finished product in person,” Sanders said. “I think the direction we’re taking this new production is going to be a big and pleasant surprise to everyone.”