Actress and Singer
Jordan Scott Gilbert
World renowned Film and Stage Actor
The Logos Theatre
Stephen Joseph Burke
Shining Light Players
Be inspired by the work God is doing through Christian Theatre around the Country! Meet Christian theatrical artists, hear new plays by up and coming playwrights, and share your own work with the Christian theatre community!
Join us September 17 and 18! Space is limited so purchase your ticket now!
Session 1, Friday, September 17 6-9 PM
Alisha Burke shares her heart for theatre and ministry.
Alisha has appeared on television and in film, but she is most comfortable on the stage, having performed in over thirty stage productions, including Our Town (Emily), Ruddigore (Mad Margaret), The Elixer of Love (Gianetta), The Day of the East Wind (Rosalind Goforth), A Consuming Fire (Elisabeth Elliot),To This End of Heaven (Kate) and I Am the Way with Jerome Hines under the direction of Derek DeCambra.
Alisha's performance as Corrie ten Boom in The Hiding Place the musical has inspired audiences accross the country and around the world.
Alisha delights in challenging performers to use their talent for the Lord, and is a much sought after voice instructor and acting coach. She was recently named "Best Performing Artist' at the International Christian Film and Music Festival.
Christmas Behind the Scenes
Staged reading of the selected one act play by Rachael Northrop
Racheal Northrop is an actress from Pensacola, Florida. She has been in several theater productions, including It’s a Wonderful Life, Pygmalion, Oliver Twist, and Silas Marner. She recently completed her undergraduate recital of Anastasia on the campus of Pensacola Christian College. She has also toured with the tenth anniversary performance of The Hiding Place with the Shining Light Players and is looking forward to their upcoming theater season.
Rich Swingle, "Christ Over Career"
Rich Swingle is an award-winning actor who has performed on six continents, 39 nations and in hundreds of venues with his one-man plays and workshops. The dynamic nature of his work can fill as little as ten minutes in a larger presentation or as much as a full week of workshops. He has performed at churches, colleges, retreats, camps, prisons, a military base, theatres from Off-Broadway to The Kennedy Center, film, radio, and CD-ROM. For the Beginners Bible video series, distributed by Sony Wonder, he did 20 roles including Jesus, Adam, and the Serpent. He has performed voice-overs and on-screen roles in several commercials and over 35 film projects. He has performed and/or taught workshops in nearly 50 colleges or universities, including Namseoul University, Korea, Memphis University, and he co-leads a workshop annually at Princeton University. Rich also spoke at the Ivy League Congress on Faith and Action, hosted by the Harvard University chapter of Christian Union.
Under the Shadow of His Wings
A staged reading of the full length play based on the book of Ruth by Melissa Gayle
Melissa Gayle is a published author, dramatist, and thespian. Her devotional book ‘Til the Slipper Fits was published in 2012 with Tate Publishing and is scheduled for rerelease through Amazon in early 2022. Night of the Wolf, a Christian fiction novel she co-authored with William Crawford, is currently available on Amazon. Gayle spent years teaching acting, drama, and speech classes and directing plays and
musicals. She currently writes and directs the children’s programs at Lighthouse Baptist Church in Indianapolis, performs in the church’s Christmas cantata plays, homeschools her children, and supports them in their various activities. She lives in McCordsville, Indiana, with her husband and four boys.
The Transgressor Transformed: the story of Jerry McCauly
A staged reading of the full length play by Elisabeth Van Etten
Elisabeth Van Etten has felt called to share Christ through playwriting since she was twelve years old. Her scripts encourage the Christian while sharing the gospel with the lost. She is a published playwright with scripts performed across the United States and internationally. She received a bachelor's in Creative Writing from Bob Jones University and a master's in English Education from Pensacola Christian College. Currently, she manages “The Homeschool Minute” for The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine while staying home with her children Evelyn, Richard, and Joseph. Elisabeth is thankful for the encouragement and support of her husband Nathan with all her writing endeavors. Her published works include the Christmas cantata An Unlikely Christmas Shepherd (Eldridge Plays and Musicals) and the one-act play Sightless Vision (Christian Publishers). She is thankful for the opportunity to share her scripts at the Pensacola Christian Theatre Festival. To contact Elisabeth about publishing an unpublished work, write firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Little Did I Know" " More to Me"
Two songs from musicals by Amy Montecalvo
Amy graduated from South Carolina School of the Arts with her B.F.A. In Musical Theatre Performance. She has written and produced four musicals and has been teaching theatre, piano, voice, dance, and guitar for the past ten years. Growing up in ministry, she has a heart for reaching people through creativity and educating others on how they can use their gifts for Christ. The first origional children's musical that Amy produced is called Sunny Smiles. Amy perceived the need in the community for a Christ centered performing arts program and founded Creative Works Co. in September 2020. Her passion for every aspect of theatre propels Amy to work hard to share stories on the stage in a creative way.
Session 2, Saturday, September 18 9-12 AM
Jordan Scott Gilbert, "Three Purposes of Theatre" (Joining us via FaceTime)
Jordan became one of the youngest AWARD-WINNING Broadway Producers in Broadway Theatrical History, being the first ever recipient of the BROADWAY PRODUCER OF THE YEAR AWARD with his musical being nominated for 3 TONY® AWARDS. As an Actor he has appeared on the Broadway stage and screen. As a Singer, his Christian-Broadway album FROM BROADWAY TO THE NARROW WAY will be released later this year.
Jordan is the Artistic Director & Producer of GOOD NEWS THEATRICS, whose mission is to develop and produce first-class, Gospel centered plays and musicals aimed for Broadway, Off-Broadway, Tour, and/or Film.
A staged reading of the full length play by Shelby Chappell
Shelby is an actress, director, and scriptwriter from Pensacola, Florida. She has been involved in over 25 shows, including “The Hiding Place” (Chorus, Thea, Mother, Betsie ten Boom understudy), “In His Steps” (Rachel Winslow, Grandmother Page), “Oliver Twist” (Nancy), “The Mikado” (Katisha), “Bands of Orion” (Vaishnavi), and “Wings of the Morning” (Vivian Hall/Zeresh). She has directed three plays, one of which was an original piece, “Ninety-Nine.” Shelby has a passion for theatre and loves creating stories that come alive onstage. She is currently finishing a Bachelor’s degree in Performance Studies at Pensacola Christian College and is looking to get a Master of Fine Arts degree as well. Shelby is extremely grateful for the gifts God has given; and the opportunities to share her love for theatre and passion for Christ.
Stop the World
A staged reading of the one act play by Elisabeth Van Etten
Special Musical Guests
The Cast of "Bands of Orion"
Session 3, Saturday, September 2-5 PM
Nicole, the Artistic Director of the Academy of Arts Ministry, is the daughter of the founders of The Academy of Arts, Nicky and Sheri Chavers. She is a graduate of The Academy of Arts Christian Conservatory and received her Master of Sacred Fine Arts Degree in 2004. Nicole’s directing abilities were discovered at the age of 19 when she directed her first touring drama group which produced over 35 shows that year. She has been directing full scale dramas and musicals ever since that have involved well over 30,000 young people all across the country in full scale Christian productions. She has personally acted and sung in over 300 productions and has won numerous awards for acting, writing and filmmaking. After her students consistently won multiple national awards over the years for acting, she was recognized by the state of South Carolina for her excellence in teaching the arts, and was nominated to represent the United States with her students in the world's largest fine arts festival in Edinburgh Scotland where they performed The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe in the Churchill theatre. Nicole and her artistic team have written and produced over 4 professional musicals, such as Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, Silent Star, A Peep Behind the Scenes, The Child Stealer, along with 8 children's musicals which have been performed on the Logos Theatre stage and around the country for several years. She may be best known though, for her work on the C.S. Lewis classic series of The Chronicles of Narnia, as she has been the first one to bring books such as Prince Caspian, and The Horse and His Boy, to the professional stage with her groundbreaking adaptations, and directing style. She and her team were honored to have Douglas Gresham, step-son of C.S. Lewis fly from the island of Malta to see and promote the premiere showings of these epic productions. Nicole was also delighted to gain Mr. Gresham’s endorsement to adapt the rest of the available books for the stage. Nicole enjoys all the work she is blessed to do at The Academy of Arts but her most exciting and thrilling job is being a wife to Noah Stratton (president of The Academy of Arts) and a mother to their son, Brinton. It is their family's prayer that they can carry on the great work begun by Dr. and Mrs. Nicky Chavers at The Academy of Arts, and that they can continue making the Bible come to life, on stage and in hearts and minds for years to come.
"Surely God is With Us"
An original song by Daniel Gowans and Lauri Lou Jones
Lauri Lou Jones is a lyricist from Nova Scotia, Canada. With a background in music and English education, she has enjoyed collaborating with ministries like Patch the Pirate and Ben Everson Music. She loves working with students in finding their distinct writer’s voice and sharing poetry with her family and friends.
Daniel Gowans, from Firestone, Colorado, is a composer, who has been writing and arranging music for the past decade. Originally a pianist, he began formally studying composition as a freshman in high-school and into college. He has worked with several ensembles throughout the years and has a passion for creating music.
A staged reading of the one act play by Shelby Chappell
Special Musical Guest
Session 4, Saturday, September 18 7-9 PM
Stephen Joseph Burke
Stephen has written 14 plays and musicals which have been successfully produced, including And the Darkness Comprehended It Not, which he was commissioned to write for the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible conference in Washington DC. Among the 20 plays and musicals Stephen has directed are To This End of Heaven, The Miracle Worker, and Our Town. Stephen holds bachelor's and masters degrees in performance, and an MFA in Dramatics from Pensacola Christian College where he taught performance classes and served as the Coordinator of Productions for six years. He has also acted professionally on the stage, in film and on television. He is the Artistic Director for Shining Light Players.
Staged reading of a monodrama by Michael Sallmen
Staged reading of a one act play by Jess Day
Jess Day is a playwright from McDonough, Georgia. She is experienced in researching and writing historical and Christian fiction, script writing, and serving as stage manager in multiple theatre productions. Her full-length Broadway-style musical “Surrender” is in the final stages of pre-production.
Alisha Burke, Nicole Stratton
Special Musical Guests