by Elizabeth Adams, Choir Tour Shepherd
DARING Productions–our youth choir, orchestra, and tech crew–took their production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat on the road for a week-long, cross-country tour including performances in Memphis, TN; Chatham, IL; Springfield, MO; and Tulsa, OK. They wrapped up the tour with their homecoming show at FUMC Allen on Wednesday, June 13, before a full-house audience in the FUMC Allen sanctuary.
In addition to hosting the group overnight and providing gracious audiences for the shows, several of the churches along the way exemplified radical hospitality in many ways. Sugar Creek UMC in Chatham provided the group with much appreciated home-cooked meals as well as a supply of reusable water bottles. The youth from Wesley UMC in Springfield joined the youth from Allen for fellowship and a pancake breakfast. Christ Church in Tulsa provided a delicious taco dinner and midnight snacks.
While in the Windy City, the travelers enjoyed seeing Blue Man Group and dining at famed Chicago restaurants, Gino’s East and Portillo’s. They also sang a selection of songs in Stanley Hall at the Field Museum. Ed Whipple, FUMC Allen youth pastor and another choir tour “shepherd,” said, “We’ve experienced Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat five different times and five different unique ways. We had plans, but God had a much bigger dream for us to live into. The cast, stage crew, tech crew, orchestra, students and adults lived into God’s dream for us this week.”
Even with all of the fantastic food and fun, the highlight of their visit to Chicago was serving at Cornerstone Community Outreach, a local homeless shelter. Our group of almost 50 served dinner to their residents and sorted donations for their thrift store, accomplishing in three hours what would normally take a month for Cornerstone’s few volunteers to do.
The group took a day off in St. Louis for some much-needed fun and exercise the City Museum, an old office building that has been converted into a multi-story, indoor and outdoor playground.
The tour was not without its challenges. The equipment truck that carries the sets, props, costumes, technical equipment, and some instruments broke down between Chicago and Chatham. But as Rev. Rusty King remarked, “God will provide!”, and He did. God provided a spirit of creativity and flexibility, and the group thrived under adversity with an “unplugged” performance of the show in Chatham with great success!