If you go
Who: Stillmeadow Church of the Nazarene
What: "The Scribe"
Where: Stillmeadow Church of the Nazarene, 400 Stillmeadow Lane, Manchester Township
When: 7 p.m. Thursday, April 2; 7 p.m. Friday, April 3.
Cost: The event is free every night, but Good Friday is a ticketed event because it is usually their biggest production. For tickets, call the church at 717-764-4888 or stop by to get them.
Details: For more information about Paul Pitts, visit www.paulpitts.com . For more information about Stillmeadow, visit www.stillnaz.com
Passion plays always have the same story. Though an important one this time of year, Stillmeadow Church of the Nazarene is telling it through a different perspective — through a scribe.
Paul Pitts, a tenor who has performed in the U.S. and abroad, went to Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy Massachusetts on Boston's South Shore with Stillmeadow's lead pastor, Bud Reedy. Pitts has been to Stillmeadow before, as the featured soloist for the Messiah, and that's when he told Reedy about a drama he wrote called "The Scribe."
Pitts' career has been an amazing journey, Reedy said. "You're hanging out in college with a guy and you're friends with a guy and to see what he's accomplished in his lifetime is incredible." Reedy said Pitts is a man of deep faith.
Pitts has sung more than 500 performances on seven continents and to more than 5 billion people via other media like TV and radio, according to his website. One of his big performances was as a solo for the 60th anniversary television special celebrating Israel's 60 years of statehood with Benjamin Netanyahu.
"The Scribe" is usually a one man show, but Stillmeadow is adding its drama ministry to it. Pitts is going to perform "The Scribe" and church members will surround him as he does it, providing drama and music, Reedy said. There are about 50 members involved.
The ministry has been in the community for a long time, John Farley, worship pastor at Stillmeadow, said. Stillmeadow has been performing a passion play for more than 20 years, but this is the first time the church is bringing someone from the outside. This will take Pitts' and Stillmeadow's ministry to a whole other level, Reedy said.
The monologue is about a Roman solider who becomes a scribe and tells the story of Jesus Christ, played by church member Paul Kitzmiller.
Kitzmiller said there are some challenges when it comes to playing Jesus, including staying up on the cross. Luckily, there's a little block for a platform that he can prop his weight on and where the nails would go throough his hands there are hooks to hold on to, Kitzmiller said.
He had no problem growing a beard for the part, he started growing it in January, but he will be wearing a wig on his head. Logistically, one of the hardest parts of playing Jesus is going from bloody makeup for one scene and having to come out in the next looking pristine, Kitzmiller said.
"Preparation of portraying Jesus takes a toll on a person," Kitzmiller said. "You could be the only Jesus a person sees in their whole life, so that's a pretty weighty responsibility."