True Light to present dinner theater

MARSHALL — This year’s dinner theater at True Light Christian School is treating audiences to not one, but two shows about finding the way and staying true to what you know.

The True Light Christian School seventh- and eighth-graders are presenting the dinner theater show “Soul Search” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday at the school. People have the option of either attending dinner and the show, with dinner starting at 6 p.m., or going just to the show at 7:30 p.m.

True Light language arts teacher Shawna Holt said this is the first time the seventh- and eighth-graders have done two different “one acts.”

“Typically the seventh- and eighth-grade classes work together and have one play,” she said. “Our class sizes in both grades are too big this year to combine.”

The inspiration behind both plays this year, Holt said, is the idea of not straying from the Lord’s path in your life and what you have been taught spiritually.

“Don’t be tempted by worldly things, but follow the true way: Jesus,” she said. There also is an element of True Light’s Spiritual theme of the year: engaging the hearts of the children to the parents and the parents to the children, Holt said.

The seventh-grade play is about a group of teenagers in the woods, Holt said.

“Some get ‘lost,’ and the others look for them,” Holt said. “Will the lost all want to return to the path or not?”

The eighth-graders’ performance is about a group of strangers all invited to a mysterious dinner party, Holt said.

“Upon arriving, they discover that there is a game afoot,” Holt said. “They are all fighting amidst themselves and trying to win the prize, although no one knows that they prize is — will they discover the truth in time?”

In developing the dinner theater shows, the students learn a lot about how to write a script with correct dialogue and stage directions, Holt said.

“They learn about projecting and enunciation as well,” she said. “They learn about how to write a story that is symbolic of the Christian life and there is always a Gospel message within the script. It’s great practice and encouragement for them to go out and share the Gospel with others.” Along with the play aspects, they also learn how to set a proper table, make and serve dinner in a professional manner, Holt said.

The dinner theater was started years ago by Russ Oglesby, Holt said. It’s Holt’s fifth year in organizing and directing the play, and Oglesby, who serves now as the school’s chaplain, is still a “willing and very helpful second set of eyes for the rehearsals,” she said.

“Every year, I count it a joy and a blessing that I get to help these students and watch them accomplish such a huge task. It really is amazing to be a part of.”

Holt thinks the students enjoy the break from core classes and the freedom to do something fun with their entire class.

“It’s a long task, but when we come to the end of it, there is a sense of pride when they look back over the many months of writing and rehearsals and really see how it all come together and it was because of their hard work,” Holt said.

Holt said the students get positive feedback from their dinner theater performances.

“In previous years, there are many community members and family members who are always in awe of how strong the performance is, considering it was written and performed by middle-school students,” Holt said. “They are proud of how hard the students work to make the scenes realistic and believable, but also deliver a message of hope.”

For tickets, call 507-537-2762.


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