Fine Edge Theatre’s The Prince who Stole Christmas, a children’s play about a journey of discovering the true meaning of Christmas, was launched on Sunday 6 November at Mount Pleasant Uniting Church. The following day, the play began its month long tour to schools and churches in Perth and surrounding regions, travelling as far south as Albany, east to Kalgoorlie and north to Geraldton, including many spots along the way.
Fine Edge Theatre Company is a Scripture Union WA program which not only delivers fun and thought provoking plays to primary and high school aged children around the state, but also mentors performers, helping them grow in their performance skills and in their faith. The company performs and tours three shows a year, with planning for each show commencing a year out.
Michael Nield, Fine Edge Theatre co-ordinator, said the program is a great way to connect with kids on themes linked to the Christian narrative. Through question and answer time, kids can explore the themes presented.
“Kids are often way smarter and way more succinct and think on much deeper levels than we expect them to, which is really exciting,” Michael said.
“You get some really deep [answers] that make everyone stop and think for a minute and go, ‘wow, that was really powerful, thanks for that contribution.’”
The play, written by Elaenor Nield, digital communications officer at the Uniting Church WA, and Amber Stewart, is accessible to both government and non-government schools.
“We talk about Jesus and we talk about a range of themes from forgiveness and grace, through to love, strength, compassion, and all of those things,”said Michael. “And we do find that in a Christian school the kids will connect the dots really quickly.
“In government schools it’s generally a little bit more disconnected, but there’s some really powerful moments of kids making those connections or kids saying both ends of the story. So, repeating the things we said about Jesus and the themes of the show and then really being open to listening to us connect them and seeing little light bulb moments.”
While on tour, cast and crew of The Prince who Stole Christmas held 31 performances over 32 days, often staying in billeted accommodation along the way. As Fine Edge Theatre Company aims to perform dynamic storytelling for and with young people, Michael said that creating the productions is a great opportunity to mentor and grow performers.
“It’s about sharing a wholistic faith experience with kids and building into a team wholistically as well,” he said.
The Prince who Stole Christmas toured parts of WA from Sunday 6 November–Wednesday 7 December. For more information visit http://www.suwa.org.au/su-schools/fine-edge/.