So, every once in a while, someone will ask me where I get my ideas for the Passion Play. I wish I could say that I come up with all of them all by myself, but that’s not even close to being true. In reality, I get most of my ideas from one of two places. The first is from a man in the church I grew up in, in South Carolina. His name is Ron Burcham.I think of him as the Passion Play Guru. He wrote, directed, and produced Passion Plays at my home church for 25 years. He is a GENIUS! He gave me a lot of great ideas for last year’s play. In fact, I even credited him in last year’s program as one of the writers because I used a couple of scenes exactly like he wrote them.
The second place I get ideas from is a place called the Holy Land Experience in Orlando, Florida.It is a Christian theme park 10 minutes from Disney World. I have been there a few times over the past 7 or 8 years and decided to go for another visit a couple of weeks ago to get inspired with more ideas. They don’t have any rides or roller coasters but they do have a lot of neat exhibits and a number of really well done plays. But the big thing that first drew me there was that they do a live Passion Play every day.
When I first went there they did the Passion Play outside. Here’s a picture of the cross that they used to crucify Jesus each day. The two crosses on the side (for the thieves) have been added since they moved the play inside). You can even go up there now and look around.
Here’s a picture of the tomb that they used.
The stone is permanently rolled away now so that you can go inside and see where Jesus’ body was laid.
After the resurrection took place each day, the crowds would move over to the Temple area for the closing scene where the heaven scene took place and Satan was cast into hell (this is where I got our closing scene idea from).
They have since built and moved into a new building, the 2,000 seat Church of All Nations.
I didn’t take any pictures from inside the building because cameras weren’t allowed. But trust me, it’s nice (as long as you like mirrors everywhere, and I mean everywhere-bathroom stalls included!).
Here are a couple of other pictures from around the park.
This is from just inside the park gates. It’s made to look like the Jerusalem marketplace. Guess what idea came from that?
This is a picture of the Scriptorium. It houses a 55 minute automated tour that shows how we got the Bible and has authentic Biblical artifacts from around the world.
These were all over the park. It’s a metal cutout of the main person who plays Jesus in their plays. I can’t believe we didn’t have one of these made of Kelly. That would have been AWESOME!!!
Here’s the backside of the outside tomb. If you look hard enough you can see a skull for Golgotha.
So, it’s a pretty neat place and once again, I got some new ideas for next year’s Passion Play. Hopefully, you’ll get to see them in action during next year’s play.