A behind-the-scenes look at Gateway’s Christmas musical.
Early one Saturday morning in October, the Gateway Auditorium hums with life. There are hugs and shouts across the room, and many are wearing nametags with movie or musical characters written on them. It’s the first rehearsal for the cast of Chasing Lights, Gateway’s highly anticipated Christmas musical. Knowing this year’s musical will be different from Truthical, the show we’ve performed the past couple of years, the 63-member cast—a mixture of old faces and new—can barely contain their excitement.
Cast members were introduced to one another and the Gateway Performing Arts team. Together they will bring each part of the show to reality. Set designs and stage plans appear on the screens and a keyboard sits in the corner—both subtle reminders of the amount of work ahead. But before all the work begins, Pastor Walker Beach, the executive pastor of Gateway Worship Production, opens with a few words.
Reading from John 21, he shares the story about the time Simon Peter and friends went fishing and didn’t catch anything all night. Then Jesus showed up and told them to throw their net over the right side of their boat. So they cast their nets again, this time on the right side, but they couldn’t draw in the net because there were so many fish in it. “In the same way, productions like this are Gateway’s way of throwing the nets over the other side of the boat,” continued Pastor Walker. “Pastor Robert has said many times, ‘Some people won’t come to a regular church service, but they’ll come see a show.’ So if you’ve been inviting people to church and they just won’t come, cast the net on the other side and try inviting them to this show.”
The annual Christmas production is one of Gateway’s highest attended weekends all year and the time when a great number of people make first-time decisions for Christ. Pastor Walker even shared that he was saved during a production like this when he was younger. He and the other staff then tell the cast they aren’t a part of this production to show off skills or highlight talents but to tell a life-changing story in hopes of bringing more people to the Lord.
ABOUT CHASING LIGHTS
Chasing Lights follows a character named Chase Adams, an ambitious go-getter trying to make his way in show business. As he’s looking for one big idea that will land his name bright in lights, he stumbles into the “Theatre of Life,” a place where what you believe is put on display. Chase meets a broom-wielding stage hand, Gil, and is taken through a whirlwind of song and dance that shows him the
true story of Christmas. Chase and Gil dive into their pasts, sharing their fears and failures, and Chase ends up with an age-old decision: whether to keep pursuing control and fame or surrender to a God who has better plans for him than he could imagine.
This show has a similar setting to Gateway’s previous show, Truthical, and is brimming with parodies from even more of your favorite Broadway and film classics. “We’re incorporating some special technical effects into the show that we’ve never done before,” Pastor Walker says. “Some of them are even fairly new to the industry.”
With Broadway-quality stage design and effects, quirky comedic moments, show-stopping medleys, and a remarkably talented cast of singers and dancers, this show is sure to be a hit with your family and friends. As with previous Gateway Christmas musicals, it’s the stirring characters and stunning presentation of the gospel message that are sure to make a difference in people’s lives. “Our hope is that Chasing Lights creates conversations, provides opportunities to invite people to church, and ultimately, reaches the lost,” says Pastor Walker. “This is why we do these productions.”
Chasing Lights: A New Truthical Adventure ran December 15, 16, 17, and 18, 2016.