By Liz Nolan, Contributing Writer
Northborough – A live, one-man Advent play described as “remarkable, inspiring and enthralling” will be performed at St. Rose of Lima, 244 West Main St., Northborough, Sunday, Dec. 8, at 6 p.m.
Actor Frank Runyeon stars in “3 ½ Stories of Christmas: A Comedy with Carols,” one of seven of his translated and adapted Biblical texts, which he performs as one-man dramas to bring Scripture to life.
“It tells the story of how the Light comes into the world,” said Runyeon. “It’s a message of joy.”
The story is told by an angel-in-training and will have a mix of humor, music and theater.
Religious Education Director Susan McGoldrick said St. Rose has hosted Runyeon previously, but this will be the first time the Christmas-themed production will be at the church. She has been working on the details since July.
“It has a very nice message for the Christmas season,” said McGoldrick. “The kids are excited about being able to participate in it.”
Kids in grades K-4 are invited to be angels and kids in grades 4-6 are invited to be shepherds. Parents should reach out to McGoldrick at [email protected] if they would like to register and obtain details on how their child can be a part of the evening.
All community members are welcome to the free, 75-minute program for all ages. Refreshments will be served afterward.
Runyeon’s career path has been a fascinating adventure. He is best known for his many television roles, including As The World Turns and Santa Barbara, and has appeared on the New York stage for various productions. He is also a graduate of Princeton University with a degree in religion and after studying acting, he continued his education at Fuller Seminary, Yale Divinity School and received his Masters with honors from General Theological Seminary. He is also a concert pianist.
For more than 25 years, he has translated and performed the Gospel in over 2,000 towns and has received rave reviews from critics, scholars and church leaders in every denomination.
“I was trying to be true to the yearning to tell a story well that meant something,” said Runyeon.
Growing up, religion was always an important part of Runyeon’s life. Events in his life made him dig down deeper into that faith.
“Everyone has something they put faith into,” he said. “The question is what are you putting at the center of your life?”
One of the reasons he began the Scripture-based productions was to help explain the stories to his kids and give them a better understanding.
Runyeon said as a pianist you have to look at the score to get to know the music, and to translate Scripture you need to reflect on your encounter with the text.
“The world is a gift,” he said. “Any story should work for all ages if you are telling it right. It might need to be adjusted for different audiences. If it is a good story, you can tell it to anybody and Scripture is the best story.”
More information on Runyeon and his other live, one-man shows can be found at www.runyeonproductions.com.