A young musician sets out on tour to promote new music, but ends up finding a new meaning to the season in Compassion Christian Church's latest production, "Chasing Christmas."
The musical revolves around Chase McLane, a driven singer/songwriter who has released his second album and is leaving Nashville for a cross-country tour. Waiting at the airport during a snow delay, he meets a series of strangers, later realizing it was more than coincidence.
"Maybe God is trying to get his attention," said Wayne Sullivan, Compassion Christian's drama ministry pastor.
The church is well known for its living Nativity "The Journey," an interactive outdoor experience that will return in 2018. Every other year, the drama ministry hosts plays and musicals.
"Our teams have been working on some great music," said Sullivan. "The song selections are incredibly diverse and exciting. A blend of traditional carols, a cappella choral pieces, street musicians, jazz ensembles, acoustic solos, lively pop duets, moving ballads and powerful gospel numbers are tied into the plot and help support the emotional connections of the characters."
Sullivan said it's the perfect time for an indoor production at the church.
"Our new Worship Center, which opened in August 2016, can accommodate up to 2,100 guests," he said.
This is the first Christmas show they are presenting in the new space.
"We'll be using state-of-the-art effects and creative technology to enhance the performance, making it a really special Christmas experience for everyone.
"We're using the whole room in a fresh, new way because actors and singers appear in scenes that take place all around the room," said Sullivan. "There are times when the audience becomes part of the story. The music and acting doesn't just take place on the stage."
The holidays are joyous for many and painful for some, but Sullivan said the show will touch everyone.
"'Chasing Christmas' is a redemption tale at heart, the prodigal son returning home," he said. "Everyone who sees this story will be able to relate to one of the characters in some way. Some have extended generosity, shown compassion, experienced pain, witnessed miracles, embraced joy, and Chase is lead to sort all these things out when he stops and reflects on the direction of his life."
Though set in modern times, "Chasing Christmas" offers the timeless tale of developing a relationship with Jesus, said Sullivan.
"Chase encounters situations that appear to be obstacles," Sullivan noted, "but are really teachable moments about the mysteries of God and his faithful, loving presence."
IF YOU GO
What: "Chasing Christmas"
Where: Compassion Christian Church, 55 Al Henderson Blvd.
When: 7 p.m. Dec. 1, 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10