“Act of Worship,” a play written and directed by Douglas Malcolm, opens this weekend at the Cedarville Opera House. This play, according to Malcolm, is unique in that it is a student show put on solely for the experience, not as a senior theater project.
“This would have been a fantastic STP, but I interned already over the summer,” Malcolm said.
Malcolm, a senior theater performance major, said every theater major needs to do some form of major project or internship. However, “Act of Worship” is not one of those.
“I just wanted to do this for the experience,” Malcolm said. “You can only be a director by directing.”
He said he aspires to act, direct and teach. And after this recent experience, Malcolm said he also hopes to be a playwright.
Malcolm said the play is geared toward the purpose of a Christian, which is to worship and glorify God. He said that often is cast aside when trials come. In “Act of Worship,” the main character and many others deal with these trials and have all sorts of responses, Malcolm said.
“You follow the main character,” Malcolm said. “And you have to ask the question: When circumstances are at their worst, will you worship God? How do you do that?”
Malcolm explained why students should see the show.
“You should come to see this because this asks the question: How do you worship God in the midst of circumstances that are not unifying?” Malcolm said.
He also described the challenges a Cedarville student faces.
“How do you respond when things go wrong? When there’s turmoil, turbulence, distress; how do we respond?” Malcolm said.
The show, however, won’t simply answer the question; according to Malcolm, it adds to the conversation.
“Good theater never answers the question. It creates the metaphor and tells you to have that discussion,” Malcolm said. “You should come to ‘Act of Worship’ if you want to continue to have that discussion.”
Malcolm said he is not making a personal profit off of the show; all proceeds will go to the Cedarville Opera House.
“So few people appreciate the richness that the opera house is,” Malcolm said. “I want to reward that.”
Malcolm noted the effort put forth from his actors and team in putting together the show. He met one actor at midnight to run through a scene, take notes and pray together.
“They are owning these characters,” Malcolm said. “They deserve all the credit for that.”
Malcolm’s team has also been a part of putting the show together through stage managing, graphic designing, marketing and promo videos.
“The collaborative nature of theater really models what a community should look like,” he said. “Everybody brings something new and something to make the entire experience better.”
The show opens this weekend, with showings at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 27; Friday, March 28 and at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 29. The pre-show begins half an hour before each show, with doors opening 15 minutes before the pre-show.
“If this was just Doug’s show, the show would be really boring,” Malcolm said. “Everybody on this cast realizes that there is a good way and that there are better ways. And they’ve done it.”
Stephen Clark is a sophomore liberal arts major and reporter for Cedars. He hopes one day to become a pastor and to set a world record for total miles driven in a minivan.