With storms rolling through the Metro Jackson area, we’ve decided to move our ‘opening ceremony’ to the world wide web. The storms will have passed through in time for the rest of the evening’s festival events to continue as scheduled.
On behalf of the faculty, staff and students of the Theatre department, I would like to share a few thoughts on the Belhaven Theatre Festival, which officially begins this evening and continues through Saturday, April 16. While this is our inaugural festival, it is our sincere hope to make this an annual event.
The idea of the festival grew out of our desire as a department to create as many opportunities as possible for students to showcase their talents, their interests, and their gifts, particularly when it comes to the creation of new theatre. We are excited about the slate of events this year, including the visits of our guest artists Rich Swingle and C. McNair Wilson.
The word ‘festival’ is derived from the word ‘feast’, which was used to describe not only a celebratory meal (often during times of plentiful supply), but also in connection to a religious ceremony or celebration.
The Greek word ‘theatron’, which is the basis for our word ‘theatre’, literally translates as “a seeing place.” The word contains the implication that the theatre is a place to perceive, to visit, the action that takes place there; action which often includes the presence of the divine.
It is our hope that the Belhaven Theatre Festival will be that place where we may come into contact with, and enable ourselves to perceive, the divine. That it will be a time of plenty, and that it will be a time of celebration. A celebration of our community.
Our prayer for the Festival:
We give you praise
We thank you for your gifts to us
We thank you for the opportunity to offer them back
We offer you this Festival
An offering of our time, our talents, our energies, our focus
May it be a blessing to you
May it be a blessing to the audiences you bring
May you speak your Truth through us
May you guide our work
May you keep us safe
May your presence be with us
And bless us
We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ