‘Moses’ – God’s gift of Love

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

REWRIT­ING MOSES has been a joy. Today when I watched over 6,000 stu­dents shout­ing and yelling for free­dom and jus­tice, I felt that the Na­tional Arena had be­come a tem­ple of God. In our first five days, I could feel the thou­sands come alive with the pre­sen­ta­tion of that great pa­tri­arch, Moses on stage. Some shows were for the school­ers, some were for the fam­ily, all were sing­ing, danc­ing and, fol­low­ing each line of the mu­si­cal drama, and the plot un­fold­ing as Moses, the great hero, fought for his true iden­tity even while bat­tling for Israel’s free­dom.

It has been about 20 orig­i­nal pro­duc­tions the Lord has given me over the years. Start­ing with the Cre­ative Arts Cen­tre, mov­ing on to the Lit­tle Theater, and now ex­pand­ing to the Na­tional Arena. I give thanks to God for all. Aside from that are Li­tur­gi­cal songs (for church), con­certs, as well as three op­eras and mu­si­cal dra­mas. All this has been done over a span of 45 years. It has taken the group and my­self to Canada, the Caribbean Is­lands, many States in the United States, Ger­many, Eng­land, Brazil, and the Philip­pines. It’s given by the Lord, I am just a mere in­stru­ment in the hand of the Lord. Broth­ers tell me they have found more than 600 mu­si­cal com­po­si­tions in my cup­board. All those songs for the most part, not pur­pose­fully writ­ten. I sim­ply know that I hear and feel mu­sic and lyrics in my heart even in my dreams, and I give way to them be­cause they want to be born, and not wasted.

MORE TRUTH AND RE­AL­ITY

Some­times I am pur­pose­ful. That is what hap­pened to Moses, first writ­ten in 2004. Look­ing back, I re­alised that the story needed more truth and re­al­ity to it. I needed to pour out my­self and my life into the char­ac­ter of Moses and bring out the con­flicts be­tween hu­man sin­ful­ness and the great call of God to be a heroic, God-fear­ing, lov­ing peo­ple.

This time around, new mu­sic emerged such as Shame on Me, Hap­pi­ness Is, The Pesti­lences, The Jour­ney, God and Moses. The script and plot needed to be more di­rect and true to my artis­tic in­ten­tion, which is to evan­ge­lise about my one true love and re­al­ity, the good Lord Him­self, my com­mu­nity, and the poor.

I have been truly amazed by the thou­sands who have come to the shows. God had planned for From left: Zip­po­rah (Mar­sha Jar­rett) and Moses (Wyn­ton Wil­liams) in a scene from the pro­duc­tion at the Na­tional Arena in Kingston.

the ser­vice of the poor and des­ti­tute, and my beloved sons, the Mis­sion­ar­ies of the Poor. They need to be fed, clothed, housed, and the King­dom of God needed be seen vis­i­bly all over the world. Thus He gave me the mu­sic and drama, both are purely gra­tu­itous on His part.

The poor in In­dia, the Philip­pines, Uganda, Kenya, In­done­sia, East Ti­mor, Ja­maica and Haiti are who have brought me life and pur­pose. In them I found Christ, and, the mu­sic flowed.

EPIC PRO­DUC­TION

Here we are in the Midst of Moses! I am bowed over with a sense of in­tense joy, even tears. De­spite my in­ad­e­qua­cies as an artist and as a per­son, the Lord has made me en­act His will. I look at the grand, epic pro­duc­tion; the mag­nif­i­cent singers, dancers, ac­tors, mu­si­cians, and the full au­di­ences in per­for­mance af­ter per­for­mance.

“The Lord has done great things to me!” This is what the pub­lic seems to be say­ing. I re­ceived news from PJ Ste­wart that a friend of hers sent the fol­low­ing email: “Just had to call or drop you a line to tell you I was ab­so­lutely blown away by the pro­duc­tion of Moses last night. Wow – what a per­for­mance – what in­cred­i­ble ac­tors, in­cred­i­ble voices, in­cred­i­ble cos­tumes, and an in­cred­i­ble set! So much work, but you must get a very spe­cial kind of joy do­ing it. It’s no won­der you can’t leave! ... and you can’t! I came away wish­ing I could take the en­tire pro­duc­tion to Broad­way or to Lon­don – it’s that good. It’s won­der­ful to have this level of theatre in Ja­maica, and at such a rea­son­able price, where so many can ap­pre­ci­ate it. Congratulations to all of you who are so ded­i­cated to MOP.”

That’s so en­cour­ag­ing for the

en­tire cast and my­self. They have spent hun­dreds of hours in per­fect­ing and mak­ing real the

new script of Moses. Many thou­sands of oth­ers will be brought to Christ through Moses at the

Na­tional Arena this week­end, and, drink of God’s liv­ing wa­ters.

The show closes this week-end. It’s the Lord’s gift and my gift to you.

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