Tuesday night’s opening of The Promise marked the 10th anniversary of the production in Washington.
It’s also the 10th time director Vicki Bubalo has seen it through.
But she’s quick to point out its longevity comes through the work of many — not just herself. Hundreds of volunteers have sacrificed over the years. They’ve been dedicated, worked hard, studied scripture and prayed.
Gifted in music and art, blended with a love for her Lord and a desire to help others find Him, it’s her “calling,” according to her husband, Alan.
The first season in 1998 was her brainchild after she watched a First Century biblical history video with her fifth grade Sunday school class.
“We could do this,” she thought.
Soon there were call-outs. Casting. Elaborate set construction. Finely-detailed costumes. Rehearsals. Tickets. More rehearsals. Then it was showtime.
Held for several years at Washington High School’s Auditorium, it was an immediate hit in the local community. Now, the production draws a cast, crew and audience from all across Southwestern Indiana. Some come from out-of-state.
TWO ACTS. TWENTY-FIVE SCENES.
It all takes more than 150 volunteers, but only two paid personnel — the animal handler and sound technician.
The script has changed a little over the years; songs been added and cut. Many faces in the cast have changed. Some haven’t changed at all. Jay Armes has played Peter all 10 times; Randy Wininger has been Matthew and Simon of Cyrene. Others have been part of the production for a decade, too.
Bubalo has watched some cast members grow up. Like her grandson, Bryce Browning, and Gunnar Jones. Both boys have portrayed baby Jesus. In 2009, they are the sons of Cyrene’s Simon.
Some have gained weight over the years. Discreetly, but yet seriously, she told this year’s disciples they needed to diet. Their costumes were getting too tight and disciples in the Bible were surely lean...they walked in the desert and didn’t eat fast food.