Megan King’s biblical character Sarah twirls under the starry canopy, holding aloft her newborn son as she exclaims, “Nothing is impossible with the Lord.”
Months earlier, Sarah did not believe that God would fulfill His promise to her husband Abraham that she would be a mother of nations. How, at age 90 and childless, could it be possible? Now, as she cradles Isaac — whose name means laughter — her joy overflowing, she laughs heartily as she envisions what God has in store for his future.
Bob Jones University presents “UNBELIEVABLE | Stories of Faith” that will be performed at the Ark Encounter — an attraction of Answers in Genesis — in Williamstown, Kentucky, from May 17 to July 31. Performances Tuesday through Saturday at 1 and 5 p.m. will be in the 2,500-seat Answers Center and are included in Ark Encounter admission. Children 10 and under are free with a paid adult admission.
“People ask me what’s the play about,” King said. “Well, it’s about faith. Faith starts in knowing what you believe and why you believe it and then sharing it with others and spreading joy or laughter as Sarah does.”
Summer Ministry Tool
BJU students Kathryn Holcomb, Eric Lane, Michael Cunningham and King comprise the drama group that will be in residence at the Ark Encounter.
“With the thousands of people who go through the Ark Encounter, we thought to have the drama team stay there and do the program a couple of times a day would be a good ministry tool and a good opportunity to meet families and not just go into schools and see high school-age students,” “UNBELIEVABLE” director and BJU faculty member Jeff Stegall said.
BJU is among Answers in Genesis’ select list of Creation Colleges.
“We can’t wait to host the BJU drama team at our state-of-the-art auditorium at the Ark Encounter this summer,” said Ken Ham, CEO of Answers in Genesis, the Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum.
Highlighting Hebrews 11
The script by former BJU faculty member David Burke was drawn from Hebrews 11 and developed for a multi-generational audience.
“We look at Hebrews 11 because encouraging people to have more faith is a message for anybody,” Stegall said. “We start with the creation and a modern story that complements the biblical story.”
Added King: “(The program shows) the power and importance of faith in a unique way and interactive way that not only ties biblical stories that we’ve read in Hebrews 11 but the modern application really ties it together for the audience.”
Standing Up for Her Faith
In another scene, Holcomb’s character Kayla cites fossil evidence in voicing her faith in the biblical creation account during a college biology 101 class intent on marginalizing creation while pronouncing evolution as more than theory.
“My character interacts with her college professor in an understanding and reasonable way about evolution versus creation and she interacts with her friend Lauren, who she met in the state school and is understanding about where she’s coming from but not shrinking back from her faith either,” Holcomb said.
“The audience gets to see that you can be a reasonable modern individual and also a solid Christian and those two things don’t have to be separate.”
Scenes on the Big Screen
In lieu of traditional sets, BJU’s video group developed eye-catching and supportive scene visuals displayed on an impressive 70-foot-wide by 22-foot-tall digital backdrop that spans the presentation stage of the Answers Center.
With 3,080 panels totaling about 6.3 million pixels just 4mm apart, the NanoLumens display has exceptional display resolution.
In the opening of a scene on a basketball court, Cunningham’s character Jake scoops basketballs from a rack and knocks down three-pointers with consistency. Timing trumps form for the actor.
“I think it takes a lot more work because there are more elements that have to be incorporated like the visuals and the timing of the visuals,” Cunningham said. “I have to see when the basketball disappears and I have to know how long it takes until it shows up on the screen so I can match my movement to it. It’s just a different kind of performance and it’s really fun.”
Added King: “There isn’t someone in a light booth changing lights every time we go on. It’s timed, so we essentially have to be listening to sound cues and visual cues we get on the screen to make sure we’re hitting our marks. Essentially, we’re following the tech instead of the tech following us. It’s been interesting as an actor figuring out how to find the motivation in a scene, in the practical things where the pauses are, where we speed up, slow down so we can get the timing just right with the tech and match it every time. I think that’s something that has stretched me as an artist.”
Inspiration for Students
BJU regularly has a drama team that travels to churches and schools. This production is the initial collaboration with the Ark Encounter. An interactive pre-show event with children and a post-show meet and greet will be worked into the schedule.
Both the Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum have seasonal and full-time openings.
“We are thrilled that several BJU students are being offered seasonal jobs at the Ark, and we still have more positions open,” added Ham. “We love to have the quality of students that come from this university that stands with Answers in Genesis on the authority of God’s Word from the very first verse.”
“It’s really exciting for us to have Bob Jones University take this on the road and neat to interact with Answers in Genesis,” Holcomb said. “We believe in young-earth creation but we’re still good scientists and are not out of touch with how the world is.”
Said Stegall: “For the parents there meeting our actors, I would like them to think, ‘I want my kid to stand up for their faith and do something for eternal value.’”