"The Lord of Two Requests"
Where: 830 E. High St.
When: 7:30 p.m. today, Friday and Oct. 26-27, and 2 p.m. Saturday and Oct. 28
Tickets: $7 today; $9 all other shows
"The Lord of Two Requests" has a simple concept.
"It is about the Lord giving this man two requests that he'd like him to follow through with," Cheryl Belt, who directs the play for the Stained Glass Theatre, explained. "God just comes and talks with him and says, 'I've found you faithful. Now I want you to do these two things.'"
The man, Don Segovia, is a bookstore owner.
Belt wouldn't specify the "two things," saying the audience "will have a lot of fun finding out," adding: "This is really about this man doing these requests — and how hard it was for him to go against the norms in society."
"The Lord of Two Requests" was originally written with a 1970's theme but has been updated for today's audience, including laptops and cellphones.
"We've even updated some of the things it talks about," she said.
One of the play's main characters is the Holy Spirit.
"And you will see the Holy Spirit throughout this show," Belt said. "I think this is going to bring the Trinity to life for everybody — because it is the spirit of Christ. He's right there with us all the time, anyway — so to see him sitting beside this man and talking to him, it just makes it come to life and makes it more believable in your own life."
Many religious people think the Holy Spirit is an invisible entity, and that holds true for the characters in the play.
Only one character, Segovia — and the audience — actually see the Spirit, who is played by Emmett Spradlin.
"The characters can't see him, but it's important for the audience to see how he's working in Don's life," Spradlin said, "why he's interacting the way he is with the rest of the characters in the play."
Spradlin said the play characterizes the Spirit the way the Bible does, while "putting a human interpretation on what we think the Holy Spirit would do."
"The Lord of Two Requests" was written by Ron Boutwell, one of the founders of the original Stained Glass Theatre in Springfield.
Spradlin said it's important for the audience to pay attention, or they'll miss some of its point.
"I would hope that they would come away with greater thought in the future about what God, in the Holy Spirit, is calling them to do," he said.
The play is mainly a drama, but has comedic moments as well, Belt said.
She hopes the audience "will come in with an open mind" and be entertained and stimulated.
"It's very thought-provoking," Belt said. "It talks a lot about how we worship God. It talks about what we watch, what we're reading and what we're putting into our minds."
Stained Glass Theatre was founded as a venue to provide religious messages.
"The goal is always to put on a good show," Spradlin said. "But here there's an added responsibility: to bring the message of Christ to the community, to as many people as we can get through the doors."
Belt said the biggest blessing of this — or any — SGT production is "always getting to work with the other people in the show. We've always said this theater is as much about ministering to the people on stage as it is to the audiences."