The dramatic Easter musical “More than Just a Man” is so real it causes the audience to shrink back in their chairs as Jesus is raised onto the cross.
Pastor Gary Hocker of the Cove Church of the Nazarenes said the production is in its eighth year and involves a church cast of 60 to 70 people from among a congregation of 130.
“The play still touches everyone in it and everyone who sees it. We continue to get people coming to hear this story told from the perspective of Joseph,” Hocker said.
In addition to the large cast, the production uses live animals including goats and chickens, adding to the realism of events that occurred leading up to Jesus’ death. The congregation begins working on the play each January, Diane Brown said.
The cast also includes several children.
“It is the children who Christ reached out to. If we don’t teach our children, we’ll lose it,” Brown said. “This is the most important story in the world. I know of no other story that is more important than the death and resurrection of Jesus.”
The Frazier family has several roles in the play. The father, Keith, plays Young Caiphus and a town person. His son, Eric, is also a town person and is on the stage crew. Another son, Jacob, is an usher, and youngest son, Caleb, plays the role of Jesus.
“This play has us coming together as a family and putting on a production,” Frazier said. “My son Caleb told me he was going to try out for the role of Jesus and I supported it.
“My two high-school-age sons are able to discuss what is going on around them and what they are observing in the world, which is nothing new. Based on scripture in the Old Testament, we have not changed as a society.”