Many students are not interested in reading the Bible. They think it is irrelevant, unreliable, or simply old-fashioned. Yet, it is through Scripture that we know Jesus Christ. How can we help students meet Jesus in and through the Bible?
The Mark Drama is one initiative towards this end. Students invite other students to come and see this 90-minute-drama on the life of Jesus. It is played in a round theatre (see picture). As a result, the spectators are drawn into what is happening instead of watching at a distance.
After the performance, a non-Christian student in Chile said: “It is hard not to cry. And it’s amazing to think that this might be true.” Students leave having heard the gospel in a way which is very real and inviting.
The Mark Drama is performed by 15 students who do not need to have any prior experience in acting. Using existing material, they learn the structure and basic content of the gospel of Mark. Then, together with the help of a trained director, they prepare the performance itself.
Many actors are touched deeply by this experience:
- “I learned the gospel like never before. It brought me closer to Jesus because it was as if I lived with him during his days on earth.” (Latvian actress).
- “During the past weeks, scenes from the drama have stayed with me and have shaped my life and thinking. I have rarely experienced a text so intensely.”(German actor)
Liene Lice, who has been directing the Mark Drama in Latvia comments: “No-one can stay indifferent after watching it – some people laugh, some cry, some are lost in thoughts, all have experienced the gospel.”
IFES movements in more than ten countries have been working with the Mark Drama. The movement in Chile, for example, put on its first performance in 2011. Since then, they have had more than 25 performances with over 1500 people hearing the words of Jesus through Mark’s gospel. In Germany, many performances take place within the university – a great way of making Jesus a topic of conversation in the student world. Afterwards, the script to the play is handed out: a copy of Mark’s gospel.
For more information, visit the Mark Drama website. If you would like to investigate whether this might be interesting for your context, feel free to contact Andrew Page who developed the Mark Drama: andrew (at) themarkdrama.com.
“Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (Mark 4:41). Let’s help others discover Jesus and by doing so discover him more deeply ourselves.