Pillars of Fire Musical at UVF

by Office of Marketing | Nov 18, 2014
The University of Valley Forge (UVF) welcomed the musical stage production of "Pillars of Fire" to its campus this week. The musical, from Lights Up Productions, takes audiences to the ancient world of the Roman Empire, back to when the Apostle Paul proclaimed Jesus as Lord in the city streets. UVF students had the opportunity to serve with the "Pillars of Fire" cast as volunteer performers. The campus hosted two free performances; the first one on Sunday, Nov. 2, which was open to the public, and Monday, Nov. 3, for the campus community. Music and lyrics were written by Brent Grosvenor, founder of Lights Up Productions. 

The musical spanned from the time of Paul's persecution of Christians (as Saul) through his conversion and ministry sharing the gospel, to his execution. The stage backdrop resembled ancient Roman streets where the stories would have taken place. The production also used a projector screen to show videos that accompanied the storyline. At times, the actors on stage spoke to the recorded videos on the screen, creating the illusion that the character on the screen was present on stage. The videos were also used during monologues to help the audience understand the biblical accounts by demonstrating non-dialogue scenes from Jesus' and Paul's ministries. The screen also projected metaphors of Paul's dialogue. 

Twelve UVF students had the opportunity to serve in the musical using their skills and talents. When Lights Up Productions contacted UVF this past summer to ask if the university would be interested in hosting the musical, Grosvenor suggested that some of UVF’s music majors participate in the performance. He arrived on campus a few days before the first performance to rehearse with the students. Twelve students comprised the chorus and four of them also played minor acting roles. Senior Gavin Harper was Silas, senior Joshua Keller was Gaius, sophomore Caleb Gudgeon was Luke and junior Jaron Beadle was Timothy. 

Grosvenor also directed the musical, which gave the students first-hand experience from a professional writer and director. "Brent's passion and love for portraying the life of Paul was very evident in our practices and our shows," Beadle said. "We as students were able to grasp what had happened to Paul and realize the impact that he left before he was executed." 

"Pillars of Fire" portrayed Paul's testimony, ministry, hardships and determination to preach the gospel and love people everywhere. The musical encouraged the campus to go and be pillars of fire for God, the examples of love and faith that help guide the way through a darkened world.

View more photos of the event  »