The ProLife Team Podcast 62 | The One Act Play Viable | Helping Fundraise and Promote Healing through a Theatrical Performance

The ProLife Team Podcast
The ProLife Team Podcast 62 | The One Act Play Viable | Helping Fundraise and Promote Healing through a Theatrical Performance
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Hear John, Gazelle, Scott, Kimberly and Jacob talk about the One Act Play Viable and how it is bringing hope and healing to one audience at a time – while also raising support for the sponsoring pregnancy clinic as a fundraiser.

Summary

This is Jacob Barr, and in today’s episode of the Pro-Life Team Podcast, I had the pleasure of speaking with the cast of the ONE Act Play “Viable.” The play is a unique approach to opening up conversations about abortion, assisting pregnancy clinics with fundraising, and offering hope and healing to those affected by abortion. John Hoover, the play’s producer and director, described the journey of the play since its premiere in 2019 and its impact across various states. He emphasized that the play focuses on the love, grace, and mercy of Jesus Christ, offering hope to those who have lost children to abortion, miscarriage, or stillbirth.

Giselle, portraying the character Judy, shared her experience of playing a post-abortive woman grappling with unresolved pain and anger. Scott, playing Judy’s husband, discussed his character’s evolution and the play’s powerful impact on the audience’s understanding of abortion. Kimberly Jackson, in the role of a counselor, elaborated on her character’s interactions with Judy, revealing the complexities and challenges in addressing post-abortion trauma.

The cast shared their personal experiences with God through the creative process and the emotional responses they’ve witnessed from audiences. They highlighted the play’s effectiveness in sparking deep and often painful conversations about abortion and its aftereffects. The play serves as a catalyst for healing, understanding, and forgiveness, deeply rooted in Christian faith.

As they continue to perform across the country, the cast requested prayers for safety, health, and remaining in God’s will. They hope the play will reach those who need its message the most, offering a pathway to healing and reconciliation with God.

#Hashtags:
#ViablePlay, #ProLifeTheater, #AbortionHealing, #FaithBasedArt, #ChristianCreativity, #PostAbortiveSupport, #SpiritualHealing, #TheaterForChange, #ProLifeOutreach, #ChristianTheater, #FamilyHealing, #ForgivenessInChrist, #EmotionalImpact, #TheaterAsMinistry, #CrisisPregnancySupport, #LifeAffirmingArt, #ConversationsOnAbortion, #JourneyOfFaith, #ChristianCounseling, #HopeThroughArt.

Transcript

The transcript was automatically generated and may contain errors.

Jacob Barr :

Welcome to the pro-life Team Podcast today I’m with the cast of the ONE ACT Play Viable. We’re going to talk about how the ONE Act Play Viable is opening up conversations about abortion, helping pregnancy clinics fundraise in a new way, and inviting the audience to find hope as some consider their need for healing. I am excited to hear the story of the ONE ACT play viable. I’m excited to have John, Gazelle, Scott, and Kimberly on the podcast today. John, please start us off by introducing yourself as if you were talking to a group of pregnancy clinic leadership teams, and then ask one of your cast members to do the same.

John Hoover :

Yes, absolutely. A lot of leadership of crisis pregnancy centers and women’s resources centers know us very well because since 2019 when we premiered this play in South Carolina, we have 13 and a half thousand miles performing viable in states like Texas and Arkansas and Montgomery and we’ve been to Washington, DC, we’ve been in Chicago we’ve been a lot of folks in Florida. And for South Carolina we’re from. So next week, this coming week in Washington state at the Salem Summit. And after that, we’ll continue back down into Florida and back to saint louis missouri, and on and on and on so this is a screen show. We work primarily as a fundraiser for crisis pregnancy centers and women’s resources centers we also perform in churches, at universities, and in community settings and event settings to raise awareness about the love and the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ and how it can help people who have lost children to death, including abortions, but also including miscarriage and still birth. So with that struggle on the nation with it, we you know, bring that message very powerfully to audience. Our website https://www.christiancreativemedia.org/ and you can see video of the play you can see the photos and backgrounds of these cast members and understand what they do and where they come from and they’re professional. They’re all professional actors. So that’s what we that’s what we’re kind of about and we’ll get more into detail about the play and how these characters interact with each other and how the story arc flows for the play. I’m the producer and the director and God is the author. So this was something that was very much inspired and I was just the typist really that took down God’s dictation when it came to writing the play and the dialogue, quite serious about that. So thank you for the introduction. The play stars, I should say i mean, there’s one character in front of you right now who is on stage at the very beginning and she’s on stage at the very end and she carries the entire story the whole way and that’s Giselle Gaffings, who is right now travelling, as you can see, across the state of South Carolina, coming back to the Greenville area from where her mother lives in Rock Hill. That’s why, you know, doing this on a holiday weekend, you’re catching us in a lot of different places. So Gee, if you want to tell us a little bit about you and your background and then get into Judy and how you created this character.

Gazelle :

Well, hello, happy to be here today i’m Giselle Bad Things. I play the character of Judy. My I do have a background in theater and some film and also voice overs and I’m also a singer-songwriter The other side of my brain. I work with a brokerage with real estate and also do diversity and inclusion training, talking about talking about issues sometimes that they can be quite like this touchy and a little bit different but having the conversations my character Judy in this show she is post abortive. She has been for quite some time and has not yet to deal with the pain and the frustration and the anger of aborting her child. And we see how this has impacted her life, even in how she carries herself. We see how it has impacted her relationship with her husband. Scott will go more into that and then we’ll see how it has impacted her ability to even relate with the counselor that glues everything together with our show and even go towards the journey of healing and forgiveness and figuring out how to release all the anguish that she’s carrying.

Jacob Barr :

Thank you, Gazelle, for sharing a bit about your character with us. Scott, please share a bit about your character and role in viable yeah.

Scott :

Good afternoon everybody. I play the long-suffering husband of Judy, portrayed by Giselle. Despite what John said, I’m not a professional actor. I actually have worked for over 40 years in education here in Southern California and you know, this was truly God’s will. I wasn’t looking for an acting part i was really kind of getting into my retirement and John called me and you know, once I read the play and did lines back and forth with Giselle, i realized that this was an important message and i really, I was compelled to be a part of that message because my character evolves from having one understanding to another understanding and it’s kind of like Oh yeah, oh and I think as this character is going through those changes, I think a lot of the people in the audience are also recognizing oh, OK, so that’s what abortion is so that’s why there’s so much pain. So a very compelling story and it’s a blessing to be a part of it.

Jacob Barr :

Thank you for sharing Scott. Kimberly, please tell us a bit about yourself and your role in the ONE Act Play viable.

Kimberly Jackson :

Yes, good afternoon i’m Kimberly Jackson i’m playing the role of young woman counselor and basically I had the opportunity of being introduced to this beautiful piece, mister hoover and Lord through another theater i was doing a show in 2018 and they gave me information letting me know that this that he was looking for cast. So I took the opportunity to look through the synopsis and I really was inspired by what was written and what the storyline was about and I just really wanted to be a part of something that really is impactful and does have a deep meaning and this is going to change lives ultimately and I feel that it’s a very important issue. So I reached out and had an opportunity to audition and here we are today. And so I’m very blessed, very thankful to be a part of this. So the role that I play is the counselor and I am the one who is working with Judy to deal with or to try to get her to deal with the issues that she is had being post supported. And she has a hard time she doesn’t really know me so it’s very she’s very defensive, having a hard time opening up to me a little angry. There’s a lot of, it’s almost a roller coaster ride really because we’re going through so many different emotions to get her to finally acknowledge the pain and start healing. And it’s just there’s a little secret, little twist, you know, which I won’t share anything now i don’t have to come see the play, but it’s just definitely a blessing to be a part of this piece here so thank you.

Jacob Barr :

Awesome thank you for sharing, Kimberly. So John, I would like to go back to when you said that you listened to God to write this play. What was that experience like?

John Hoover :

Well, you can see behind me a lot of books on the shelf, and about 15 of those are books that I published, including the New York Times bestseller I used to write for Disney back in the day that’s when I first encountered Scott, in fact, and his family, he comes from a show business family he can tell you a little bit about that, but it has quite impressive credentials. But, so I only point that out because I know what the experience is to write screenplays, stage plays, long form books. So when I’m not writing, but I’m just taking dictation from somebody who’s telling me what to write, I know the difference. And so I really knew right away when God put it on my heart to put this play on paper. It was him instructing and actually doing the writing and I was doing, you know, the typing. So with that in mind, you have to understand that what he created here is not a play about the politics or the legality or the constitutionality of abortion it took play, as I said before, about the redeeming love of Jesus Christ and how he can rescue a woman who is been suffering for 30 years from post abortive traumatic stress syndrome. And as I also alluded to before, Judy is a woman who is struggling in many ways with her own sorrow, with her shame, with herself condemnation, and hasn’t shared this with anyone. So I mean the story is quite complex the way it was put together and a lot of twists and turns that you wouldn’t expect. I’ll expose some. Despite Kimberly’s very gracious offer not to expose the plot, I think we can, we can dig into at least one level of it and you’ll understand what happens is that Judy and George, her husband who’ve been in marriage counseling for years and years and years, are called by what they think is the pastor to their church to do a little marriage counseling. And the pastor doesn’t show up. And so George takes off and goes home to watch a basketball game and Judy stays in the church hoping the pastor will show up she’s struggling this night, very important night in her life that I won’t give away. But then who should appear but Kimberly in the role of what Judy thinks is the church counsel? And Kimberly can elaborate on this a little bit more but Judy then engages with her and she engages with Judy and as they dialogue and as they interact with each other, you find out that in fact, the church counselor is not a church counselor at all. The role that Kimberly plays is the daughter that was aborted 30 years ago, and that this is taking place in a dream. And in this dream, God has sent this young woman, the church counselor we call her because Judy never gave her a name when she aborted her. They go back and forth. They hold to their line that God honors the sanctity of life. Judy has embraced the talking points of Planned Parenthood in the abortion industry to defend her motion, to protect herself and to justify the choice that she made, Which really, as it turns out and is exposed to the play, it was not a choice at all because she has a very famous line that’s, you know, maybe, Gee, are you? Are you where you can give us your line about without?

Gazelle :

I will not give away my line.

John Hoover :

Without the truth, but only the lie. Women have no choice, only the lie. So that’s the approach we take to dealing with choice if it’s really a choice, then you need to know the truth on both sides of the conversation. So I’ll start going to that and of course, George, as Scott pointed out, has been on the receiving end of what a very wounded woman can do in terms of becoming very vitriolic and angry and kind of taking it out, as many of us do, on the people who are closest to us, people in the family. And once Judy actually breaks through, surrenders their life to Christ, then she’s transformed, as you might expect, and the marriage is restored. And they can tell you a little bit about more about the critical moments in the play when that happens. But Kimberly, what? How would you describe the interaction between you and Judy when you first encountered?

Kimberly Jackson :

Oh it’s very defensive, very closed off she’s she is very suspicious, even just not knowing who I am, especially meeting with a normal, you know with pastor, if you’re meeting with someone, it takes time to build up a rapport with someone, especially when you’re dealing with personal issues. And she is wondering who I am, why I’m there and is very hesitant at first to even open up to me but she realizes that she needs to talk about this is causing her so much anguish that it’s desperate almost to go ahead and just start sharing and talking with someone and so I happen to be that person there that night. So as we go along in the conversation and as we go back and forth with each other, I would say she first starts initially with anger, frustration, suspicion, definitely defensive. It takes quite a bit of time for me to be able to get her to kind of trust and open up to me and then it turns into wait a minute, she does a little bit more about me than anyone and that’s kind of a little creepy because how can you know things about me and I’ve just I’m just meeting you for the first time this night, you know. So then it starts to then she starts to kind of get curious about me and then I think eventually we get to the point where she realizes who I am. And that’s where I feel like the true healing is starting to begin or take place because she’s now realizing she’s now willing and accepting of truth. And she also feels bad because she understands that there were things that she did and makes decisions and accepted certain lies and things like that, unfortunately. And but ultimately I think she wants, she just wants to love me, you know, since she never met me and so being able to have a chance to, you know, meet your unborn child, there is this sweetness I think that takes place between the two of us so yeah, that’s what I would say the journey is it’s a.

John Hoover :

Very happy ending. As George can tell you, he’s the one that gets the happy ending.

Jacob Barr :

So who would like to share about your journey of performing the one Act Play viable? How have you experienced God through this creative process?

John Hoover :

Scott, what struck you when?

Scott :

Well.

John Hoover :

What urgings did you feel?

Scott :

So many things have occurred for me during the course of working on this play, but a few things that stand out are well, first of all, in the play itself, the strong acknowledgement that abortion isn’t just a woman’s issue and the fact that men have a role to play obviously in that. And then subsequently the number of audience members who have spoken on that particular piece that wow, yeah men involved important point. That and the fact that so many of our audience members have come up to us to basically confess or you know talk about the struggles that they’ve had with their own decisions that they’ve made in the course of their lives around abortion. It’s been very, it’s been eye opening, it’s been emotional. Just it speaks to I think a lot of the pain that’s going on in our country around this issue.

John Hoover :

And talks.

Gazelle :

A lot.

John Hoover :

The conversation that this program gets, he gets a lot of people coming i always say that Giselle has sort of an Oprah effect on the audiences everybody wants to come and confess to her. And we have been told many times as we travel across the country in those 13, and a half thousand miles that people have never confessed that they had abortions before. And they write us letters and emails about the fact that this play caused them to come forward where they never would have come forward before because they didn’t feel anyone understood them. And this cast that you’re talking to right now, Jacob, is very good at helping them to Co experience what they’re watching happen on stage and I’m sorry to interrupt you G, but you know, she’s the one who those kind of approaches.

Gazelle :

Well, no worries and for me the conversation is very important and it’s we have to be able to have the conversation whether we see things the same way or not, whether we see eye to eye or whether we understand what one’s thoughts may be, we have to be able to have the conversation. We’ve also had some unique experiences where, you know, somebody that would have been a Kimberly comes up to her as well and said I would have been you if my if my parents had been able to really go through with or if it had happened, something happened and it didn’t take place. So, you know, sometimes there’s been the unique experience with Kimberly to talk to someone that would have been, you know, that child that didn’t make it just it just opens up all types of dialogue it’s a it’s a family dialogue as well because we meet members, we meet brothers and sisters of women that have had abortions that have not spoken or it’s put a wedge between them for years and they have not talked because of this going on and happening so you know that the healing really translates throughout the entire dynamic of the family and a vast array of emotions that families experience when this does take place, it’s never talked about.

John Hoover :

And it’s about healing. Yep you know, the play is about, it is a healing journey for so many people or it begins a healing journey for so many people who see it and then they need to go on and continue that because it’s a process as you’re aware, Jacob, and many of the people you talk to and doing these podcasts provide that healing. But it begins with where Kimberly starts it with Giselle and the role of Judy getting her to breakthrough, her denial about what’s really happened to her and how deeply it’s impacted her. And of course, Kimberly, you might want to speak about how that affects you then because you said that, Gee, you know, in the role of Judy really wants to love you, but she learned something about you in the process, right?

Kimberly Jackson :

Yes. Giselle mentioned, you know, that I have had opportunities to speak with people that would have been that child. And I actually spoke with a woman she, you know, survived the abortion, the attempt of the abortion and it was a it was actually a privilege to talk to her i really feel honored for her to share that with me because you know, just knowing that, you know, she endured that, but that she’s, she even actually has a relationship with her birth mom so many years later and I think that that’s amazing to be able to connect even after an experience like that but for me, I just want one of the other issues one of the things that’s also important to me is that it’s just for me. It just shows how much God, oh, he’s just so loving of us because the fact that he, you know, she has a hard time just being able to forgive herself for this. And he is so forgiving and it just shows that his love shows us how to love. And I know sometimes it’s not always easy as human beings to love, but I think having that example, it just really helps me and I try to, you know, it makes me want to try and be loving like him, or at least strive to be that way so I think it’s important in my role, but also in my personal life as well.

Jacob Barr :

So when it comes to helping someone from the point of needing healing, with the need deeply buried, to the point of sharing their story and voicing their need, I can imagine there are a lot of emotions and tears at these events. What has been your experience talking to people, hearing their story, their pain, and seeing them open the door for relief, possibly through tears?

John Hoover :

He was talking about the fellow who had not spoken, who came up to us in Texarkana, texas of all places, at a Baptist Church after the play and he was really in tears and he was a big guy he would look like somebody who would be sobbing, but he was sobbing. And the explanation he gave through his tears was that he hadn’t spoken to his sister for 20 years. That’s what she was alluding to. And that after seeing the play, something about live theatre, something about being in the room with these actors and these actors portraying these characters. The struggles that the characters are battling against and what happens to them and how they respond together and how they respond to the stimulus makes it very real to people where it hasn’t been rooted for and that guy, through his tears, said, I haven’t spoken to my sister for 20 years, but after seeing this tonight, I know I have to forgive her. I have to go straight to her now and forgive her. This was wrong of me to treat her that way because I understand now much more succinctly he didn’t use the word succinctly, but he understood then in that moment, far more about what his sister went through and what she had to deal with than he ever did before. That makes sense. And Gee, Scott was talking about men in the play, this play where she goes out into the to the lobby and comes back very quickly as part of the scene in the opening of the play. And when we were premiering the play in South Carolina, she went to the lobby and we knew people were going to be sad we knew that people were going to be in tears. There was no question about that we knew that from previews and from rehearsals that this was going to have a large impact that Judy goes off stage as part of her scene, prepares to come back on stage and what did you encounter, Gee?

Gazelle :

Well, I mean there’s a there was a there’s a older gentleman out there and he had left out and he just he said he couldn’t do it he said I just can’t do it i can’t it’s just it’s too much for me. It’s too heavy. And you know, my nurturing was to immediately console him but I had to get myself i’m like, you got to go back you got to go back on stage so you know, i think you know, the process of dealing with healing, whether it’s over grief from a loved one, whether it’s over a divorce, whether it’s over, there’s a process to dealing with grief and with healing. And I think even though, you know, this particular piece addresses, you know, we’re dealing with what has happened to a post abortive woman and her journey and what’s going on. I think a lot of people, when they see this show it starts a conversation with them to process grief, whatever type of grief it may be that they may not have yet dealt with in their lives. And you know that their people are layered and sometimes we’ve gone deep, like John was saying about the gentleman that for 20 years had not spoken to his sister. So you know this gives a safe space, if you will, for people to process and start dealing with emotions. Even though they’re in an audience, they end up being an audience of one. And so they have to introspectively consider what we’re placing before them in a safe space.

Jacob Barr :

So how is this one act play viable impacted your relationship with God? How have you experienced the emotions of serving God through this creative avenue. Helping bring healing to someone? How have you experienced God through these performances?

Gazelle :

Oh, I’ve experienced.

Kimberly Jackson :

God in the way of, I mean the way that I approached the role of the counselor i initially wanted to portray her as someone who was kind, someone who would not automatically, like, make her feel bad, you know, ’cause I think sometimes, unfortunately, we can do that we can. You know, we have our idea of how things should go and our opinions and views and so immediately we want to just tat, you know, and jump on someone and I think that is that we have to be careful about that because we could cause more damage than good. So I would definitely want it to take my time with her. And you know, I think it was good doing that but also just in my own life, like I feel like I want to be able to be there sometimes it’s just good to be there for someone because I mean obviously a counsellor is someone who’s who does a lot of listening. They do, you know, put questions in there and pose, you know, things to think about but a lot of it is listening and I think it was important for Judy to be able to feel like she could, she could speak she could say what she needed to say. And I think it’s important that we have the right people, you know, trying to that’s why I think it’s good that we have people there, organizations there that are able to offer support because anybody who you know is going to be trying to attack this but people who know kind of what they’re doing, they know how to slowly do that process and help that person walk through it. And most important I think is it takes time for healing so I think that’s one thing we have to definitely remember and we also have to remember that it’s OK, you know, it’s you’re going to have those up moments or down moments when you’re going through the it’s a process so it’s not always going to just be a walk in the park, it’s going to be up and down so we have to be able to be kind to ourselves as well.

Gazelle :

Yes, yes. And in addition, in addition to that, it takes acknowledgement for healing. You know, Judy had to, she had to own and acknowledge what she was dealing with that she denied for a very long time. And you know, acknowledgement is part of the process sometimes that people do not necessarily want to deal with because of worrying about being condemned or worrying about being judged. And you know, one of the things I always say is, you know, grace is space. We have to give people grace to grow. We have to understand that everybody in their in their Christian journey is not where we are, everybody with their witness we’re all in different spaces and places traveling along this journey to where the Lord would have us to go. But part of our job is still to help push one another forward with the journey, whatever that may mean or look like how we handle and have the conversations with the different people that you know, we want to talk to we want to encourage we want to love on we want to you know you know the counselors often times she has to get really firm with Judy and initially there was some struggle with her with her you know doing that and as she as you watch the characters evolve in this in this one act because all three characters evolve you see where they go that they adjust and deal emotionally because they know what the other character needs in order for them to get to where they need to go. You know she was Kimberly’s talking about how she i believe that she wants she wants to love me and she gave me the opportunity and the space to express that to her and then that gave resolution to her even in the dream and she was like you know we’ll meet again someday. It George wants to love Judy but he can’t no matter what he does because of the pain that’s inside of her hurting people hurt people. So getting to the root of what was going on that he has no knowledge of what’s going on puts up another box where he couldn’t move. So giving the space for people to be vulnerable be broken. And i’m talking about in our journey because you know when we travel with one another we have conversations we have great conversations where we may challenge one another and certain thoughts where we put, you know, what we see in it and where we talk about things scripturally and talk about the word and practical application of it in our lives. And you know this show is extremely emotional as you said, I know from me once I go through all the range of emotions that Judy has in this show, I am spent and I’ve even seen some people come up after the show and say I know you’re tired because I’m tired. So you know the conversation is the important thing for us in discipleship and giving that example of Christ for people to want to be part of the body because quite frankly right now our examples aren’t always the best ones and people feel like I can do bad all by myself i don’t have to come to church for this i can you know I can get this so you know as that church without a spot or wrinkle comes forth because this is time for the church to elevate and rise in. As far as I’m concerned. Then we have to be able to have these conversations and to that will draw all men unto unto thee jesus did things in parables and stories so this is a parable and it’s a story that puts the information there and challenges the people that are there. So what do you get and what are you going to do with this?

John Hoover :

And like I mentioned before, the power of fear, the power of actually watching Giselle do this, watching Kimberly do this, watching Scott do this live in front of you for just over an hour, leaves people really rung out emotionally as you pointed out, we’ve never not had a standing ovation for this but on the way to that, there have been lots and lots of phoenixes consumed by people who are crying there’s also a lot of laughter. There’s a lot of fun in the show. There’s laughter, but they’re also tears there’s a whole range of emotions. And to Giselle’s point, when we talk about the church, I mean this is one of the things God wrote, I believe into this play was a reprimand for the church for not showing up and being front and center in this conversation. In the even the broader conversation which Giselle was referring to, and since they have not been, they get dealt with a little bit in the play, pointing out things that the church failed to do which did not come to the aid of the children, would not come to the aid of the preborn. And without that, then the church really usurped its role. Scott has some dialogue actually about that in his fifth and final scene of the show scott, what are some of the things that you find not acceptable about the Church’s role in all of this?

Scott :

Well, for one thing, we don’t talk much about the Holy Spirit in this church resonates with the audience i can hear the breath coming from the audience when I hear that. But one of the things that I was going to say is in addition to what Giselle and Kimberly were talking about relative to just the myriad of emotions that people obviously are feeling during this play. I’ve grown to recognize the ignorance, if you will, that that’s out there in society around what abortion really is. And I just keep imagining us doing this play in front of a pro-choice audience because I would really want to hear what they would have to say about their position after observing the play and let’s just talk about the fact that in the play the definition of what an abortion is graphically illustrated by Kimberly’s character and it’s undeniable. So it would be interesting to see how you hear that with all of the emotions surrounding it and then turn around and say, OK, so talk, let’s talk about pro-choice I’d really like to see how that the turn out.

John Hoover :

Thank you. Life is a thread that definitely comes through it. And we point out in the dialogue that you know, even though, for example, the current living daughter that George and Judy have was raised at the church, went to Sunday school in the church, she was never taught in the church about the sanctity of life. So the church has not put a flag in the ground when it comes to teaching the young people about what they should consider biblically and how God speaks to them. You know Jeremiah one five and how they were formed in the womb and Psalms one thirty nine and all of the biblical reference to the children, the unborn, the preborn, and the miracle of God is working in children. Unless they’re taught about that, you know, in direct reference to the fact that children can be destroyed, they won’t have a broad enough basis to really have a legitimate conversation on the subject.

Gazelle :

We’ve talked about, we’ve also talked about before that the conversation even goes deeper because before you get to abortion, you have to, you know, and you have to talk about the sanctity of life and when you’re talking about the sanctity of life, you have to be willing to talk about sexual relationships and when you’re talking about sexual relationships, you have to be willing to talk about intimacy and taking all of these things to the word of how God even established relationship between man and woman and marriage and family. And valuing that, valuing the intimacy and understanding that yes, God did create sex. He created it to be in this vessel of marriage. And This is why because of the powerfulness, because the beauty, because of our and these are the conversations we really need to have with our young people before we can even get to you know if there are a lot of conversations we can be having in the church that if we have them and there’s a regard for relationship we it’s very difficult I would say I believe to talk to young people about these things and this is even in teaching young people when you know, they may be seeing tension or certain conversations not taking place at home between their parents, certain things that aren’t happening so, you know mom and dad don’t really act like they like each other. How do they love each other And they can’t even. I’ve never seen Dad and mom hug. I’ve never, I’ve never seen him show, you know, that he reveres her as a queen or her treat him like a king. So there are a lot of different things that, you know, go to the root of what has to be established for even us as a church to have the conversation at that level. And talking to our young people and even grown people, because young people, there’s so much information they have today. They have and not that it’s good information, but they have access to information. The Internet, tik tok, YouTube, you name it, they’ve got it. And when they’re not getting it at home, they’re going to look for it in other places or with their peers or in other settings that might not necessarily present to them the truth of what things are. And so and also the best presentation is going to be us as the people of God when they see, their parents, when they see, their families when they see and of course we all have familiar issues again, that need a conversation. So the church has to have a willingness to talk, no matter how difficult the subject may be. There’s an answer in the word for every difficult conversation that we need to have as it relates to our young people, our families and the church body. And we have to be able to talk about the difficult issues that just might make us blush a little bit. But there’s still things that God talks about in the world.

John Hoover :

And everything in viable points back to Jesus Christ. That’s the center, the anchor of what this story is about is a very wounded, as Giselle said, a hurting woman that hurts other people becomes and is transformed into a loving woman who knows that she’s loved by Christ, not condemned by Christ and the forgiveness and the mercy plays out in transforming her heart. And that’s one of the things that you watch and the character arc that she plays, George is the same way. The only person who’s the same at the end of the play that she was at the beginning is the role that Kimberly plays as you know what Judy perceives as a church counselor because she came from God. She’s already been with God ever since she was aborted. So she knows the word of God she knows God intimately, personally, and so she doesn’t need to be transformed in her role her role is to come and be a vessel in transforming Judy, and Judy then turns and becomes a vessel in transforming George. Would you say that George, that that’s what happens to you?

Scott :

Oh, without a doubt.

John Hoover :

He finds out a secret he never knew and doesn’t respond well to it initially.

Scott :

Well, one of the things about George, even though he’s very in love and trying to show love to Judy, he’s also very self-centered and it’s when he realized.

Gazelle :

I’m so glad you’re owning that, George.

Scott :

What he what he realized is that, you know, the abortion occurred and then has that moment of realization that, yeah, but if I had been there, I would have done and said the same thing it’s like, wow, I’m as much of A Sinner as anybody else, and I have to repent. That’s a big moment, I think, that a lot of men recognize in the play.

Kimberly Jackson :

I was going to say about showing love and I just wanted to just because Judy and George, they have a problem and she is going to be, she’s pregnant so The thing is that we were saying how you are able to be an example of love from one person to the next so you show an example of Jesus through your own life, but if you think you know she has a decision that she has to make as well, she’s not sure you know if they’re going to keep the baby or you know what other options they’re going to have. Judy really feels passionate about her daughter, knowing all of the options that are available. But I think seeing the transformation, that’s the true revelation of being able to see the transformation of Judy from when she was this angry, bitter, you know, sad person to this person who’s now loving and hopeful and things like that. And her daughter being able to see that and knowing what she went through but now, seeing this transformation, I think it will also impact her decision on what she chooses to do next in her pregnancy.

John Hoover :

So all of these issues, as you can see, are right in the wheelhouse of women’s resource centers. The healing programs, the Linda Cochran forgiven and set free care Nets, making life disciples, and the programs that go on and on and on and on are all there because of the tremendous need for this healing. And that’s one of the reasons this play is so popular with those groups and why when they bring instead of, you know, necessarily another speaker after dinner to their gala or their fundraiser to have dinner theater and people actually watch this go on. Not a lot of people weep the way they weep when they’re listening to a speaker, the way they weep when they watch form viable. So it’s very powerful, very transformative emotionally and that’s important to them. And it also, very interestingly enough and there’s some research behind this that was actually published in the Wall Street Journal that when people are experiencing theater and then asked to give like for example, to the charity Broadway Cares in New York after watching a theatrical performance, people give more money according to the research. And I’m just more willing to be generous overall. We did this program when we did it for the South Carolina Citizens for Life proudly pro-life Gala. They broke all the records for attendance in the history of that event and they raised more money that night than they ever had before and now we know why. It’s because the way that people experience theatre and dinner theatre is very different than the way they experience, you know, eating dinner and listening to a speaker and writing a cheque and going home. It’s a much more powerful experience it’s a much more memorable, powerful evening when they see what they see in the play viable.

Jacob Barr :

It seems like they are experiencing an invitation through story to share their pain, their painful past, their abortion story. It makes me think of James five sixteen. Confess your sins one to another so that you may be healed. So just speaking out the words the healing begins. Then that verse goes on to say the prayers of a righteous person availeth much. Have a feeling you have prayed with some of the people in the audience after the play as a follow up step So they may after they see the play viable and experience the emotion and invitation to share their story. Then the next step may be to pray and connect with a post abortion support group. I would like to ask each one of you as people are listening to this podcast, how might someone join you in prayer what are you praying for the one act play viable what is your prayer request and how might you invite a listener to join you in your prayer?

John Hoover :

As I mentioned, it’s a it’s a national ministry we travel all across the country, we crisscross, crisscross the country doing this. And so we need to have prayers for safety and traveling mercies and for also for the health and the welfare of the cast as they do this work. So everything in the complexity of doing what we do is important and we need the Lord’s protection we need the Lord’s guidance. So as Duty Giselle was talking about earlier, you know what we do we need to do strictly in reverence of God seeking His Kingdom 1st, and everything else comes second to that. So the prayers for us would be that we are remaining in the will of God in this work, and keeping this work completely consistent with God’s ambition for us, His desires for us, His desires for the preborn, His desires for the fathers and the mothers who suffer when this kind of thing goes on. And so that everything that we do, that’s the prayer and we pray before every performance. We pray before most rehearsals, if I remember when we’re rehearsing and we have people in every place we go standing by to pray and to counsel from local crisis pregnancy centers, women’s resource Centers for the people who need that immediate prayer, that immediate council we work with H3 Helpline and Terry Baxter and those numbers are available to everybody to pick up the phone twenty four seven three hundred and fifty, two weeks a year. And they can talk to somebody alive right then anytime about their experience and what they’re going through. And they can point them again, as you pointed out Jacob, to the healing programs. And we also have what we call Act 2, which of course A1 Act Play doesn’t have an Act 2, but it’s a Healing Journey, which is a short workshop style healing experience that helps people who have just gone through the play, watching the play and what they can do to get their feelings and their emotions out into a safe place and then they can move forward with the healing process. So I’ll turn it back.

Gazelle :

Over i would also say the prayer would be for access and resources and I say access from the standpoint of doing healing theatre and Christian theatre. A lot of times people don’t think that we can we can do, they don’t understand that you know it’s OK for them to spend or put the expenses into a speaker and do various different things but they don’t understand how what we do does what it what it does so i I’d say that the prayers for access to the ears that are decision makers and people that have the resources that allow us to go forward and take this message wherever it needs to go, however it needs to go. Because you know, people don’t seem to really get it until they get it and that’s when they see it or they get the understanding so they don’t understand how this is used as a vehicle to share God’s word, to share his love, to share the healing and to be able to break down walls and boundaries. So conversations can begin very well.

John Hoover :

Said.

Kimberly Jackson :

I would say that just pray for God to open the hearts of the people that are going to be the ones that can open that door for people to see the show because I think you know just having sometimes you hear it and you hear about it and you’re like Oh well it’s nice but that would I hope you guys do well you know I hope that things go good and so forth but I think it’s, you know, God has to speak into the people that are going to be the ones that are kind of the movers that can open those doors to have a lot of people to access. And just the willingness to say, you know what, OK, let’s give this a chance let’s bring this in and let God do the work you know, so.

Scott :

Yeah and I would just add that like Giselle said about access and extend that definition to make this experience available for those who really need to see it.

John Hoover :

Giselle says that all the time, you know, God’s going to put the people in the audience who need to see this, the people that need to see it are going to be there. And so we trust him for that and we know that he’s faithful for that and how much he loves everyone who’s had these kind of stressful, traumatic experiences. He’s going to bring them healing and we’re so blessed to be a part of that and I want to give Kimberly one more chance to answer a question you asked earlier, Jacob, about what’s God’s role in this. Her character has to preach and eyeball to eyeball, nose to nose, gospel message to a woman who’s fighting back against it as hard as she can in this play. And if she weren’t a strong, committed believer herself, even though the dialogue is there for her on the page of the script, she brings that to life in a terribly powerful way, powered and enlivened by the Holy Spirit in her. Is that? How does that feel, Kimberly, when you do that? What is that message?

Kimberly Jackson :

Well, you know, for forgiveness, I definitely, I think it’s a huge part. Accepting, forgiving yourself, but accepting the forgiveness of God, that God Forgives you, that God loves you, no matter what, I think are all essential things that I’m saying through the Holy Spirit speaking through me to Judy. And you know, even there’s a part in the play where she’s like, even after what I did, you know, And it’s like, no matter what you do, as long as you confess to surrender your life to Him and accept him as your personal Lord and Savior, you will live in His presence, in perfect peace forever and so just being willing to confess what happened, acknowledge it, admit it, being able to surrender it over to the Lord, and then accepting him into your life and accepting the love that he has for you and accepting that he forgives you and that we as human beings, we do make mistakes but He is a forgiving God, a loving God,

John Hoover :

So we don’t mention any words about that. That’s where God is in this player, right in the center.

Jacob Barr :

So I have one last question. Have the tears at the end of the play been infectious? Like have you found yourself in tears when you experience the audience in tears?

Gazelle :

I don’t well, I can’t. I can’t connect to the audience like that and be focused. I’m sure when somebody comes up and they may, they may be crying and I console them, you know when I’m, when I’m hugging or ministering and saying you know, we appreciate. I just like I said, I’m spent by the end. So i’m consoling and I’m giving myself up and I’m giving my body i don’t even know if it’d be anything in me to cry by the time this is over not my character because she has really gone through a roller coaster, you know, So i do love talking to the audience at the end, hearing their stories, praying with them if they if they like Kimberly said. You know guiding them to resources that are available, taking as much time as we can to spend with them and honor them for sticking around at the end and wanting to talk to us and share their stories or ask questions or whatever they have we always, we always stay for the after party is I’ll call it with the with the show to be able to interact with the audience i mean because that’s one of the best parts.

John Hoover :

Yeah, yeah. And it doesn’t end, sadly it ends with transformation and surrender to Christ, And that’s a very happy ending. And with the marriage with George reconciled, which is a very happy ending, and she’s had this gift from God to meet Kimberly’s character and to know that she’s loved by her daughter and by Jesus Christ himself. George, do you ever cry?

Scott :

After I get a kiss at the end of course not. I would say that. I don’t know if this sounds odd, but it to me it’s encouraging when I see people getting emotional because that says that it hit the right spot.

John Hoover :

That’s true. And I do, and I hug a lot of men around the country after these plays. I remember this not just in the Texarkana show, but others in other cities and other places. And yeah, I do cry with them sometimes because their emotion is so obvious and exposed and how deeply that this has affected them and impacted them. So there’s a little bit of sharing, but that comes from that interaction between the person. As Giselle said we do after talks sometimes and sit in the panel and talk to the show and talk about what it’s about and talk about how it impacts people and people come up and talk to us. Sometimes it’s hard for us to get out of the theater because people just want to stay and talk and stay and talk and remember in Washington DC, we, I think we’re there almost an hour longer than we anticipated being because they just people wouldn’t stop talking. And it was great to have that interaction with them, but you know, they just go through so much it’s hard to describe you have to be there you have to do it you have to experience it or talk to somebody who’s experienced it. That’s why when people go to the website to read the reviews, these testimonies of what people have gone through and what this has meant to them and what this has brought to light in their lives, it’s very powerful those testimonies themselves might make people cry when they read them i know they impact me very powerful.

Jacob Barr :

Wow, thank you for being on the podcast. I really have enjoyed hearing about this creative, beautiful invitation for people to find healing and also it’s amazing that it’s also a fundraiser at the same time. It’s like a multifaceted blessing to further the culture of life built around healing. And I’m excited to see it in person in Missouri, I think in about two months. And so I’m looking forward to that this is around the country.

John Hoover :

Where we’re appearing, All right, that’s on the website too you can go on the website and see where we’re going to be performing in various places.

Jacob Barr :

Thank you for being on the podcast i think this story of hope and creativity and healing is just so awesome to hear and to share.

John Hoover :

Thanks for having us thank you.

Jacob Barr :

Thank you hopefully people that hear this will join you in prayer as you bring the one act play viable to one community at a time.

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