dance & drama
This section of the website explores how drama and dance can be used to express or explore Christian faith. It includes ideas which everyone can join in, such as role play; the contribution of drama and dance groups to the worship and mission of churches; and news of professional productions with faith as a central theme. It includes script writing and story telling, but note that film is in the visual arts section. Very often more than one art form is used at the same time (eg. music with dance and drama). If you can't find what you are looking for please use the search box at the top right of the screen to search the site.
Drama opens up questions rather than proclaiming answers. It illuminates the different viewpoints on a story, and engages young and old together.
Churches are using sketches, plays and pantomimes to engage people with the Bible and with the outworking of faith in everyday life. Christian theatre companies are touring thought-provoking productions and running workshops in schools and prisons. This section shares examples of these, and also signposts mainstream plays which take faith as their topic. See also the sections below on plays for key points of the Christian year.
Using drama in church life does not have to be a mammoth task, or involve a scripted play with a large cast. With preparation and care, the simplest pieces can communicate effectively. This section gives some ideas drawn from members' experience.
Around the world, and in many faiths, dance is used in worship. It can be fun, entertaining and educational. Why not invite someone of another faith background to your church to perform? ArtServe might be able to help initiate contact, ensuring a rich, enjoyable and challenging experience for your church congregation.
Dance is an excellent way to captivate and entertain an audience. But you can also encourage people in your congregation or invite members of the public in to your church to try it for themselves: dance can be an excellent way of exploring one's own spirituality through movement, with surprising results.
Puppetry isn't just for children. Adults find a well crafted puppet show just as memorable, and just as much fun as children.
The human and divine story of the nativity offers plenty of scope at Christmas, from the traditional nativity play at a crib service to more challenging ways of engaging the public in shopping centres.
The dramatic death and resurrection of Jesus is the heart of the Christian gospel. The tradition of the Easter passion play as a community performance staged in the public spaces of a town has seen a welcome revival. But smaller scale use of dance and drama can draw people into the story.