PLAY REVIEW: ‘3 Days’ is an original Easter production

By Lori Hansen • Last Updated 11:08 am on Thursday, April 05, 2012

Tony Robbins, as a forgiven Peter, encourages Jesus’s followers to proclaim the good news that Jesus lives in Sheridan Assembly of God’s Easter presentation “3 Days.” — Daily News/Lori Hansen

If you go …

What: “3 Days”
When: 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday
Where: Sheridan Assembly of God at 4010 S. Sheridan Road
Tickets: Admission is free, but a freewill offering will be taken

Cast: Head Guard/Thomas/Matthew, Billy Wright; Priest/Mark/Jarius, Bob MacDonald; jesus, Ed Koutz; Guards, Caleb Robbins & Russell Wright; Jesus’ mother/Joanna, Erika Robbins; James, Riste Trumble; John, Pastor Jerry Carlson; peter, Tony Robbins; Servant to Jarius, Don Williams; Jarius wife, Vicki DeToma; Adultress at the well, Val Robbins; Debra, Ann Koutz; Mary (worshipper)/angel, Karen Williams; blind man, Russel Wright; deaf girl, LaShae Wright; girl with withered hand, Ha Young Kim; Martha, Sharon Carlson; Leah/angel, Sue Trumble; Lydia/dead girl, Lauren Lora; jr. angel/Leah’s helper, Ashlyn Ebels; mourners, Sharon Carlson, Ann Koutz and Val Robbins; disciple/lame man, Zachariah Bogue; Simon the cross bearer, Joe Iempattanasook.

Crew: Val Robbins, director; Christa Wright, lights; Caleb Robbins and Ashley Peterson, sound; Tracy Ebels, props; Louise Briggs and Erika Robbins, costumes; Erika Robbins, makeup

The mourners gathered, remembering and reminiscing the events that led up to Jesus’s death. On the third day, they celebrated his ascension.

Sheridan Assembly of God is performing “3 Days” — an original production written and directed by Val Robbins — Thursday through Saturday.

“I got the idea from one of pastor’s (Jerry Carlson) sermons,” said Robbins, who is also one of the 26 cast members. “Jesus’ followers were shook up, and they met to reminisce and tell stories.”

The play begins with a dramatic beating and crucifixion of Jesus. The audience hears the clank of the mallet as it pounds the nails into Jesus’ hands, and sees his bloodied body as he hung from the cross.

As his body is carried to the tomb, Jesus’ followers, many who have scattered, try to comprehend all that has happened.

The believers begin to gather to comfort and encourage each other.

Using a unique blend of flashback scenes, mixed in with classic and contemporary Christian music, the actors and actresses share their experiences and thoughts for the days ahead.

“Courageous” by Casting Crowns, is touchingly performed by Carlson, Bill Wright, Riste Trumble, Zacharia Bogue, Tony Robbins and Bill MacDonald as disciples who will find the courage to carry on.
Jesus’ mother Mary, portrayed by Erika Robbins, recounts Jesus’ birth and emotionally sings “When Love Was Born”.

“That night the world changed,” she said.

The group remembers as Jesus walked amongst the people healing the blind and lame, and bringing a dead child back to life.

LeShae Wright performs a strong solo “Healer” and Lauren Lora as Lydia confidently sings “Mercy” as they share stories from Jesus’ life on earth.

The stoning scene is also well done as it is re-enacted. Carlson, in his song “Jesus, Friend of Sinners” reminds the audience of the forgiveness offered to all.

A simple set allows the characters, in their detailed costumes, to stand out more. Curtains closing and opening on the upper stage allow the flashback scenes to be re-played on the expanded lower stage.
In another flashback, Sharon Carlson, who plays Martha, recollects a visit Jesus made to her home. As Martha hustles and bustles around, Jesus, portrayed strikingly by Ed Koutz, reminds her “There is always time for work. There is not always time for me.”

As foretold, Jesus ascends from the tomb the third day. Erika Robbins powerfully sings “Alive” saying “Death has lost and life has won.”

Tony Robbins’ deep bass voice is strong as he sings “He Was Here.”

A powerful finale features the cast singing “O Glorious Day,” led by LaShae Wright, Zachariah Bogue, Lauren Lora and Pastor Carlson.

“We have a lot of talent among our cast and crew, from voices to the seamstress to the tech crew,” Val Robbins said.

Correspondent Lori Hansen is a Greenville area resident.

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