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Cast of 56 from 14 churches will perform Easter cantata this weekend

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Rich Lovelace is Peter in the Easter cantata “Come Walk With Me,” being presented Saturday and Sunday by MACT and PACT.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 9 April 2019 at 1:54 pm

Medina Area Christian Theater taking show to 2 schools, instead of a church building

Diane Thurber, theatrical director for the Easter cantata “Come Walk With Me” works with the cast during a rehearsal at the Medina United Methodist Church.

MEDINA –  The Medina Area Christian Theater ’s annual Easter cantata has a lot of “firsts” this year.

Joining them for the first time will be members of Pastors Aligned for Community Transformation, a group of five pastors started 20 years ago by Pastor Dan Thurber to pray for members of the community.

Also, for the first time, the cantata will be presented at a school, instead of a church. And, having a performance in Albion is also a first.

“Come Walk With Me” features a cast of 56 and will be presented at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Albion Middle School Auditorium and at 3 p.m. Sunday at Medina High School Auditorium.

Cast members this year represent 13 churches in Orleans County and the Hartland Baptist Church in Gasport.

The cast this year is one of the largest in the history of the cantata, directors said.

Lead cast members are Randall Bane as the grandfather, Rick Boyle as Luke, Cody Taylor as Jesus, Rich Lovelace as Peter, Mike Wright as Pontius Pilate, and Bill Parker as John.

The cast of 56 is the largest ever in the Easter cantata being presented this year on Saturday and Sunday by the Medina Area Christian Theater. Joining them for the first time are members of Pastors Aligned for Community Transformation. They are rehearsing here at the Medina Methodist Church at the Grove.

Elaine Lovelace is musical director and Diane Thurber is theatrical director.

The collaboration between MACT and PACT came as a result of PACT contacting MACT and asking if they could be involved.

“This is wonderful for our family, which is steeped in music,” said Diane Thurber, whose husband Dan is pastor of Assembly of God on Ridge Road . “It is a wonderful opportunity for us to do a theatrical production which expands on our faith.”

MACT was created out of the original social musical theater started more than two decades ago by Jan Cramer and the Rev. Dan McDowell of Medina First Baptist Church. After McDowell left, Elaine Lovelace took over directing.

Elaine Lovelace is musical director of the annual Medina Area Christian Theater’s Easter cantata.

The cantata really grew in prominence 12 years ago when the Rev. Larry Eastlack came to town and wanted to put on a big Christmas musical, Lovelace said. The new group became the Medina Area Christian Theater and Lovelace has directed it ever since.

MACT traditionally puts on two presentations a year – at Christmas and Easter.

A committee consisting of Elaine Lovelace, Robin Watts and Nicole Bacon usually meet to choose the production.

“We have done this cantata twice before, but Rich and I suggested doing it again because it would be new for the Thurbers and PACT,” Elaine said. “Besides, the music is fun and Diane has expanded the drama.”

Watts also makes all the costumes for the group.

The cantata is free and directors hope the new venues will result in larger crowds.

Randall Bane is the grandfather in the Easter cantata. Here, he reads to children about his travels with Jesus.

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