Backstage at the onboard theatre

written by Rebecca Gaasrud

Two hundred children from difficult family situations were welcomed on board Logos Hope for a special performance of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in Willemstad, Curaçao. As the advance preparation team was making arrangements for the ship’s visit to the island, the volunteers learned that young people growing up in challenging home environments can often be overlooked by society, so they decided to plan an event to bless these children.

After the performance, cast members went back onstage to talk about what being involved in the production means to them. They gave the kids insights into the practical and creative aspects of the show, demonstrating how the set's pieces are moved between scenes. The children were given the opportunity to ask questions, producing a lot of audience-cast interaction, which encouraged the event's co-ordinators.

Piet van der Westhuizen (South Africa) talked to a woman who had brought her autistic son to the show. She told Piet that she was excited to go home and talk to her son about the Good News of Jesus, using the visual connection the show had provided.

Tim and Katy Whitson (US), Logos Hope’s theatre arts co-ordinator and assistant co-ordinator, were excited to meet teachers from a school which runs arts-focussed after-school activities. “We hope to reconnect with this group during the ship’s dry-dock in Curaçao,” said Tim.

Following the event for the kids, cast members held two afternoon performances for the general public. “At the beginning of the day we weren’t sure how full our shows were going to be,” said Tim, aware that the ship had just arrived in Curaçao two days earlier. “If we'd had at least 125 people in total from both afternoon shows, we would have been happy.” To Tim’s surprise, 500 people attended. “It was really quite amazing to see!”