Friday, April 3, 2009

Get Set for LAEP

For 19 years volunteers have gathered a week or three prior to Easter Sunday to prepare a setting for a pageant of drama and music. Over the years the stage has grown as has the production - 3 presentations now with several hundred volunteers from set up to tear down.
Money and energy bathed in prayer for what purpose? That someone will come to understand the truth of the gospel message by seeing this visual portrayal.

Jesus came.
He lived a sinless life.
He died in my place - and yours.
He AROSE and will return for us one day. Hallelujah!

It is always exciting to watch the transformation of the sanctuary. First, pretty much everything in the front is removed including several front pews and all the chairs on the sides.

Then platforms are brought in & reassembled to extend the stage & create a walkway.

Certain sets are built, such as the tomb. You can see it is labor intensive.

I realize we APPEAR to be standing around talking. While that is true, the TOPIC is important. We are organizing, reminding ourselves & the guys how things have been placed in prior years so that everything will FIT when it is reassembled THIS year. Remembering how things have to happen in a certain order so that completed parts don't have to be undone then redone.
A tough job, but someone has to - you know.

The platform for the choir has been assembled & the scaffold for the scrim is well on its way to completion. We had great volunteers again this year. I believe the big pieces came together faster than ever before.
The choir appreciates the air flow through those silver ducts. We get hot packed onto risers dressed in period costume complete with head coverings singing our lungs out. PTL for AC!

Here is another scaffold view. Can you see the ladder stretching from the scaffold top to the stage? Imagine descending that quickly to get in place for the next scene. Sounds simple maybe? Now imagine it in the dark, wearing an ankle length robe (usually guys up there too so they aren't even used to skirts) and having to be QUIET while moving. Oh, and no falling allowed.

The baptistery will be unrecognizable once all the curtains and set decor are in place. No dunking allowed here until after Easter.

It's possible that these guys have been involved in set construction since LAEP's beginnings here. They sure know how to build & put things together.

The garden platforms have been assembled, the carpet laid and the walls put into place. These guys are working on putting together the tubing for the fog machine. There are many little details to complete the big picture.

First build the scaffold, then the choir platform, then the scrim, then lay the carpet & bring in the arches before assembling the choir risers & barriers (match the letters to assemble the in-house designed & built safety structure) but don't forget to staple on the scaffold cover cloth that goes behind the arches before bringing them up. Now we need the wall to cover the steps up to the scrim. Who has a charged drill to put the wall frame in place?

We are blessed with wonderful, talented ladies who sew all our costumes and curtains. Oh, and the banners, so beautifully designed they will bless your socks off.
See the weight hanging in front of the curtain? I'm not telling you what that's for. You will just have to come see for yourself.

We sometimes tease Scott about doing the LAEP so he can play with the big toys. He winds up being in the rafters a lot handing curtains & banners and doing all the lines so they can be raised and lowered. He looked like a spider spinning a web up there stringing banners. Then there's the lights, the ceiling mounted cameras and hanging or removing the front & side screens.

Amber laughed that she looked like she was in a wedding gown with two bridesmaids as she climbed a ladder to hang this sheeting in the back of the baptistery.

We were blessed with lunch by more volunteers and Bible Study Classes who brought food for the workers.

Scott would pray & then we'd eat.

And then we'd get back to work.
Or head to class or work (my 2 biggest guys)
Or maybe catch a quick after meal nap - but I'm naming no names.
To me, one of the more challenging aspects of set construction is that services are still held on Wednesdays & Sundays so our mess has to be cleaned up & the sanctuary usable.
Kinda goes along with the gospel doesn't it? Christ cleaning up our mess so that we can remain usable for Him. Let it be so in me, Lord Jesus!


Alice said...

Awesome tour, Patti! I enjoyed the running commentary with the photos. Great job! The part about the choir singing lungs out was particularly true. I love the shot of Stephanie lifting the portion of the tomb, straining really hard because you know how heavy it is :O). And the baptistry shot with the 2 men standing up there - they look like mannequins - they don't even look real when you click and enlarge the picture - what a hoot! Great tour, thanks for being our docent :O).

Patti said...

my pleasure!
I was exceptionally thrilled when photos I took last year helped us with placement & assemblage this year. Many thousands of instructional words - PTL!