Bright idea for stage

rpulley@lsjournal.comAugust 12, 2014 

Quick thinking and audience participation saved the Summit Theatre Group’s Friday night performance of “Godspell.”

During the performance Aug. 8, the stage went dark when the power went off in the area around Tudor Road and Missouri 291. The outage interrupted the show at the Lee’s Summit Christian Church.

Brad Rackers, who played Jesus, asked for anyone with a cellphone to help light the stage.

Dim light illuminated the stage as spectators switched on their devices and held them aloft for about 30 minutes, said Ben Martin, president of Summit Theatre Group.

An accompanist switched from electric keyboard to acoustic piano. Power was restored only a couple of minutes before the song “All for the Best,” which called for complex choreography with the cast moving among the audience. It rescued that part of the show because without house lights, the director was thinking of cutting it.

The musical’s song “You are the Light of the World” took on extra meaning, Martin said.

“There were people from the community up on stage performing, then the people from the community holding up their cellphones for light,” Martin said. “It was a memorable moment.”

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