MECHANICSBURG – Sonshine Productions, a musical ministry theater company from Columbus, will be stopping at the Mechanicsburg United Methodist Church to perform for the local community as a part of an annual summer tour. On Thursday, June 22, the original musical drama Spark From the Ashes will be presented at 7 p.m.
Sonshine Productions is a musical drama ministry based at Bethel United Methodist Church in Columbus. Featuring a cast of 30 teenagers, the ministry produces original Broadway-style musicals based on Old and New Testament stories. Full costuming, props, lighting and sound, along with a contemporary musical score, help bring these texts to life. Since 1980, youth and adult casts have performed Sonshine musicals all over Ohio and throughout the country.
The musical Spark From the Ashes is the story of a Jewish priest named Jairus who risks his reputation and position to ask a traveling preacher named Jesus to heal his dying daughter. It is a story of faith and trust – and ultimately, the goodness of God. The musical was written by Kurt Fox, a Columbus native and English teacher at Olentangy High School. The script was written in response to the author’s struggle with his father’s untimely death from cancer. The musical score was composed by Sonshine founder and director Mark Fox, director of music at Bethel United Methodist Church and the former director of bands at Franklin Heights High School in Columbus.
“(Sonshine) all really started as a way for me and my friends to rebel against the church,” said Fox about the ministry’s beginning. “However, through the years and generations, it has changed the way that people view church and the youth in the church. Although there is a staff of adults, the productions happen because the youth in the show believe in its message.”
“We are truly excited to have such a talented musical drama ministry visiting our village,” said Matthew Smith, Director of Music at Mechanicsburg UMC. “It’s exciting to see youth coming together to deliver a powerful message while showcasing their talents. I have had the privilege of working with Sonshine Productions in the past and can say that they have earned their reputation for excellence, professionalism and spiritual integrity.”
Mechanicsburg UMC is located at 42 N. Main St., near downtown Mechanicsburg. The church has elevator access through the parking lot entrance. Although there is no charge for admission, an offering will be accepted by Sonshine Productions to offset tour expenses.
For more information about the show, visit www.sonshineproductions.org or call the church at 937-834-2410.