Directors notes

This work was only possible through prayer and the gracious gift from the Lord Jesus for the time to practice music.  It documents what the author experienced while attending Greenville High School and during his first year thereafter. The script is only a guideline, leaving lots of room for improvisation so that the play can be somewhat different night after night.  HE is the Rock we are focused on.

Here are some notes for the director to help see into the mind of the author and what he was thinking.  The most important goal in performing “Rock” is to: 1. Encourage young people to seek out the Lord Jesus. 2. Then, to have a personal relationship with him by reading the Bible. The point of our message is to personally seek out the Lord Jesus Christ and his will for you. This obviously is not easy. Today, some of these issues are not politically correct. But good for us, this play was written long before we had to deal with these concerns.

The author knows from his own personal experience that it is hard to get young people to listen.  The first song in the opera “12 to 21” was written when the author was 13 in 1964. The music was written first, and later, lyrics were added. At that moment in time, the author started on a mission to write good rock ‘n roll songs that you could hear on the radio and would have a message or hidden meanings to encourage the listener to seek out the Lord Jesus.  Using personal life experiences, lyrics were written with a special message and then put into music that the youth would listen to. Early on in conception, video or shooting movies was a very important part of the live performance. This was all before Christian rock. This was long before MTV. The author’s vision can only now be appreciated.

As was then and is now young people like to listen to music. Rock ‘n roll music is the worm on our hook. We will provide the viewer with two acts of rock ‘n roll and its lifestyle. We will also show the consequences. Then, just before the end, they will find out the true meaning of Rock is the Rock of Ages. And then the performance is over. That’s when we hook them and send them back home with a Rock in their pocket.

The script, “Rock,” should be used as a framework within the producer’s budget. The set can be built from scaffolding and major construction all the way down to just painted flats with black curtains for doors. The performance will be just as effective. The author has written down what would take an unlimited budget to capture the whole concept of the opera. Any part maybe easily changed or omitted for whatever reason. Only do what can be afforded. The focus needs to be on the message more than anything else.

Promoting local arts and talent is these performances’ second most important goal. We have all seen local artists and craftspeople selling their wares in malls at Christmas time from little kiosk stands. These artists would be offered the chance to be a part of a live performance, advertise their products, and be able to sell them at the end. All the artist and venues would carry special made greeting cards.    When asked about purchasing their products, they hand out this card explaining that they will be here after the show. The card would have all their personal contact information. This is another way of helping promote local art and talent.

A unique thing about this performance is that it starts in the parking lot, not when a curtain opens. This is the theater in the round to the extreme. From the moment you arrive, it would seem as if you are in a Renaissance fair atmosphere. Organized chaos also greets people as they arrive. They see people hustling and running around, and they don’t seem to be accomplishing anything. No one seems to be ready for the performance that they are expecting to start inside.

We want to stimulate all six senses. That’s why food is being served around the people as they arrive. One bite-size sample is being passed out from the food vendors. Mr. N.E. Body’s pizza deliveries during the performance are to stimulate the senses of smell in the audience. We are trying to distract the audience as much as possible with action constantly around them. This way, the viewer cannot see everything in just one performance. It leaves the viewer desiring to come back and see what they missed.

There are numerous points in the action where improvising is possible. A very good point is that you have the audience participating in the action. During the song “I ought a,” the audience participates by snapping their fingers. The actors can interact with the audience and maybe even interview a couple of them live. During the song “Encore,” you can get a call and response from the audience, the stage actors, the band, and a cappella. Try to stretch out the ending song Encore and get more audience participation for a dynamic finish.

Inform all your participants early on that you are eager to listen to their ideas for additions or changes to the dialogue. While an actor is inside the mind of his character, he may come up with some additional good ideas. One actor may have several roles throughout the performance. All scenes change with a curtain open so the audience sees what is happening. Most of the play happens during a daydream by the lead character, so keep that in mind. The dancers may be used to strengthen certain feelings during the performance. The dancers are constantly running out and literally touching the audience during the performance. Thus, the sense of touch.

We are not here to preach to anyone. We are here to entertain the audience. We are only planting a small seed. The Lord will do the rest. May he bless you for any part you take in this performance.