In collaboration with the Music Department, the English Department and the Rexburg community, the Theatre Department of BYU-Idaho opened “Savior of the World: His Birth and Resurrection” March 19. The second week of the show runs March 25-28 at 7:30 p.m. in the Snow Drama Theatre.
“Savior of the World” depicts the life and teachings of Jesus Christ through theatrics and song. The first act covers the events leading to his birth, and the second act covers the events directly after his death.
“It was originally produced for the Conference Center Theatre in Salt Lake City, and they produce it every year,” said Justin Bates, an instructor in the Theatre Department and the director of the production.
This is the fourth time “Savior of the World” has been performed on the BYU-I campus since its first performance in 2005, Bates said. This is the third time the production has been performed on the Snow Drama Theatre stage. It was performed once in the BYU-Idaho Center as well.
“I love being able to share my testimony about Him through music,” said Elise Adams, a junior majoring in theatre studies. Adams plays Mary, the mother of Jesus, in the first act.
Adams said that even though she grew with musical theatre, portraying Mary presented unique challenges.
“It involved prayer and the book ‘Jesus the Christ’ and just studying about Mary, finding things out about her life,” Adams said. “There are these two big monologues, and for me, getting the motivation of why she says them was pretty difficult. So I had to do some studying and reading in the scriptures.”
Their hard work paid off for the audience.
“It was great; I loved it,” said Stephanie Lathrop, a freshman studying theatre and speech education.
Lathrop said she had never heard of the show before. “I didn’t know what it was about. I didn’t know what to expect,” she said.
“Savior of the World” was a different view of the story of Christ than she had seen before, Lathrop said. As a result, it was a very spiritual experience.
Spencer C. Holdaway, a sophomore studying English, echoed Lathrop’s sentiments. “It was just beautiful. I can describe it no better,” he said.
Holdaway saw “Savior of the World” in Salt Lake City in 2013, and said he was able to have a new spiritual experience by seeing the production again.
“I could feel the Spirit so strongly,” he said.
Bates said this is what he hopes for the audience. “The mission is for our students and our community to walk away from the play with an increased testimony of the Savior and of his teachings,” he said.
The cast is part of that mission as well.
“Every night you will be able to feel the Spirit, and it’s not us,” Adams said. “It’s the Spirit teaching through us.”
Adams said because “Savior of the World” is a Church musical, it’s different from any other.
“It’s something that everyone should be able to see,” she said. “It’s such a wonderful musical to help strengthen your testimony.”
Holdaway recommends the show.
“There are so many different lessons that can be taken from this,” Holdaway said. “Every person that goes to this will have a unique experience.”
Lathrop said she wants to bring her roommates to one of the shows on March 25-28.
“I would definitely recommend anyone to come see this show,” Lathrop said. “You’re going to feel the Spirit.”