Since its inception in 1996, SonRise has been a way for Southern Adventist University students to be part of a community and to immerse themselves in the Easter story.
Daniel Hebard, junior biology major, has played a soldier and a thief on the cross in past years; this year, he plans to audition for Pilate.
“I enjoy being a part of something larger than myself and being able to use my talents to recreate the story of God’s greatest gift to mankind,” Hebard said. “Each character, though seemingly small, is integral to the production as a whole, and helps me as an actor experience another perspective of the Easter story.”
SonRise director Randall Van Dolson is looking for talented actors, choreographers, vocalists and a casting director for this year’s production. Auditions will be held Feb. 11 through 14 for all major roles. Auditions will be held from 6 to 9 p.m., but those interested are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a specific time.
Volunteers interested in auditioning for acting roles can fill out the main cast application located on the SonRise website, collegedalechurch.com/sonrise. Volunteers will need to prepare a 60 to 90 second monologue as well as be ready for a cold reading.
Requirements for auditioning include learning lines and being committed to attending the required number of evening rehearsals.
There are 10 main acting roles, and many of these roles will be filled by more than one actor. For example, there will be six actors playing Jesus on rotation.
SonRise is not just auditioning actors. They are selecting choreographers and vocalists. The choreographers will play Gabriel and Satan in the resurrection scene. To audition, all you need is a 60 to 90 second choreographed routine to whatever musical selection you choose. To audition as a vocalist, you should be prepared to sing one verse of “Were You There?” a cappella.
SonRise also is looking for a permanent casting director. The SonRise Director, Randall Van Dolson, is stepping in as a temporary casting director, but the position is typically filled by a Southern student. Those interested can email email@example.com for more information.
The Resurrection Pageant, as the SonRise website advertises, is “an interactive, put-you-there-at-the-scene trip through Christ’s final days leading to His death and resurrection.” SonRise is sponsored by the Collegedale Seventh-day Adventist Church and partners closely with Southern, drawing from the student body to fill the 500-member cast.
Charles Lawson, senior theology major, played Pilate last year. “Last year was, as always, a great experience. I was able to yell at people and have some form of authority. That was one of the things that made playing Pilate fun,” he said.
Playing Pilate was not just fun for Lawson; it held spiritual significance, too. He said, “Playing Pilate has had me think much more about Jesus dying for me.”