This year’s Living Gallery, “Looking Unto Jesus,” portrays the promises and prophecies given in the Old Testament of the coming Messiah.
Dr. David Eoute Jr., of the department of communication studies and director of this year’s Living Gallery, said that though the theme usually looks at the past or present in light of the crucifixion, this year’s theme is all in the future tense, focusing on the prophecies that point toward Christ’s first coming.
According to Eoute, some of the prophecies used in this year’s production include Zechariah’s foretelling of the King’s coming, riding on a donkey, and Moses’ lifting up the brazen serpent in the wilderness, as the Son of man will be lifted up.
Living Gallery combines three elements — drama, music and art, and Eoute said the production is always a team effort.
“Every year they drop a director into this machine (Living Gallery) that really just runs a lot on its own,” he said.
The drama, which was first performed back in 2005, is presented from the perspective of a Jewish family struggling to survive after the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.
Eoute said he really liked the idea when the drama was performed back in 2005 because he thought it was such a unique take on the crucifixion story, but he has given the script a significant update since then.
Eoute said Dr. Ken Renfrow, faculty member in the department of keyboard studies, is in charge of the music for this year’s production, which is a combination of live and recorded songs. Eoute said the audience will be able to join in singing one of the recorded songs, which is from the new congregational CD, Complete in Thee.
According to Eoute, three of the 12 pieces of artwork for the production were done specifically for this year’s Living Gallery, including a piece showing the entry of Christ into Jerusalem, a new crucifixion piece and a piece portraying the story of Moses and the brazen serpent.
This year, 70 models under the direction of Dan Sandy of the costume department will blend in with the artwork, making some of the paintings literally come alive.
Eoute said his goal is to make the three elements — drama, music and art — come together in a seamless way that points the audience toward the truths of Scripture and the hope of Christ our Messiah.
A new element is being added to the production this year, as well — video. Eoute said Bill Kimzey of the department of video services created a video for the beginning and end of the program to help put the drama in context.
According to Eoute, the video at the beginning will contain some elements that point to the Messiah and will give a timeline of events in Israel’s history that pertain to the drama. It will show how the idolatry that continually pulled on the hearts of the people of Israel led to the destruction of Jerusalem.
Eoute said that like the Jewish family in the drama, Christians are becoming more of a remnant in the world today. He said the drama draws parallels from the Jews who still clung to what God had revealed to them even though many were turning to idolatry, and Christians who have hope in the promise that Christ our King will return one day and put everything back in order.
“The Jewish people are like we are in our propensity to want to follow what the world is doing,” he said. “We need to follow Christ.”
The program will be performed April 17 through 19 in Rodeheaver Auditorium.