Mia Rodriguez

Mia Rodriguez, TX

We arrived at Sight & Sound in three yellow school buses. Walking into the domed building as a small horde of loud teenagers, I’m sure the other patrons gave a collective sigh at our noisy presence. Despite this, we entered with high spirits, talking and laughing, taking pictures of everything. Inside, ushers guided us into the massive stage area where, as people shuffled into their seats, it was organized chaos. The smell of roasted almonds, a Sight & Sound specialty, helped create a warm, cozy environment despite the size and large crowd numbers. Once the lights started to dim, a hush settled over the theater. For the next two hours, we stared transfixed at the incredible production: “Jesus”.

With beautiful, intricate scenery and engaging, lively acting, we watched the three years of Jesus’s ministry unfold on the stage from a deeply personal perspective. However, unlike some adaptations, the story remained true, many of the lines coming straight from the Bible.  Not only that but as a Broadway lover, I was pleasantly surprised when about five minutes into the show they begin to sing. The songs throughout the performance had literal chills going up and down my arms. Characters such as Mary Magdalene came to life as a beautiful redemption story, but also moments of humor brightened the show. For example, Peter and John’s mother was portrayed as sassy, strong, and all-together genuinely real.

To top it all off, I got pretty excited when trained horses, birds, and even llamas traversed up and down the aisles, close enough that I was tempted to reach out and touch them. At the end of the show, cast and crew from Sight and Sound did a Q & A session with us, where we learned about the ins and outs of the performance, such as the crucifixion scene containing a fake Jesus. Additionally, they explained what it took,  logistically, to compose such an amazing production. For example from start to finish, each show took about two years to produce, and so they emphasized the importance of confirming God’s will on the executive decisions of the show.

Even though it was late and they still probably had quite a few things to do, my peers and I felt so grateful that they shared their time and heart in presenting their ministry to us.   On the ride home, we continued to rave about the show and it remained a high point in many students’ experience throughout Summit. It also impacted our daily devotional lives. After Summit,  my small group began reading John together. We remembered the performance as we read, giving us a new understanding and connection with the Word that we previously did not have. For me, at least, as a visual and auditory learner,  being able to experience Sight and Sound made the Gospel that much more tangible and special.