— MILTON — The Christ Wesleyan Church annual Christmas production is heading to Narnia, with more than 100 volunteers preparing to whisk the audience away and spread holiday cheer.
“Narnia the Musical” begins today and is based on the classic “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” by C.S. Lewis, said Ryan Brosious, worship arts pastor at Christ Wesleyan.
“We do a Christmas production each year,” he said. “We did ‘A Christmas Carol’ for the last two years ... We’ve done other things, like ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ a couple years ago. This year, we decided to move from the traditional church musical and do something that would draw more of the community.”
The play takes more than 100 volunteers from the community and so far, the group has logged about 2,000 man hours preparing for the production, Brosious said.
“(Our cast) represents about 10 other churches as well as people from the community, who may not go to any church,” he said.
The group also got a boost from the Sight & Sound Theatre in Lancaster this year, Brosious said. One of the artists from the celebrated Lancaster theater helped the make-up and costume artists at Christ Wesleyan learn how to do professional-style production make-up, Brosious said.
“We feel like every year we try to raise the bar,” he said.
The production celebrates the classic tale of the children who discover the magical world of Narnia in a closet and has many biblical parallels, written into the story by atheist-turned-Christian author Lewis, Brosious said.
Brosious hopes the production will help the audience feel comfortable in a church setting and help spread the message of love and fellowship, he said.
“We want to make church feel like a place where you can feel safe,” he said. “(The plays) are a really good bridge for people to come experience church in a non-threatening way.”