FORT MILL --
A crowd gathered on the day Jesus was crucified. Pontius Pilate offered that crowd the chance to free either Jesus or another prisoner, Barabbas.
According to Bible stories, the crowd chose Barabbas, and Jesus’ fate was sealed.
It’s Barabbas’ story that isn’t often told, said Narroway Productions founder Rebecca Martin. The Christian theater’s new show, The Fourth Cross, will help people get a fresh look at Barrabas’ life and that important day.
“It’s a dramatic and fun story,” Martin said. “We hear the Bible so often that we forget they were real people. This makes the story come to life.”
The story of Barabbas doesn’t sound like a light-hearted comedy, but Martin assures that the crowd will enjoy moments of laughter. The story, written by Martin and other Narroway staff, begins with Barabbas and Simon the Zealot as children. The duo makes a comical pairing, with Barabbas always coming up with schemes and Simon taking the fall.
The show has 90 cast members and teaches some important lessons, Martin said. When the crowd chooses between Jesus and Barabbas, they choose to save Barabbas, who history says was likely a person who favored war and hatred, Martin said.
“Jesus was completely the opposite. Love was going to make the difference, he said. It looked like Jesus lost, but he won. It’s an encouraging message for all of us, that sometimes our darkest hour becomes our best,” Martin said.
Narroway, on Carowinds Blvd. at Hwy. 21, was incorporated in 1996. The theater has seven shows scheduled for the upcoming year, all Christian-themed. They also do mystery theater nights that don’t have a specific Christian message but are a fun team building activity, Martin said.
The majority of Narroway’s business comes from church groups and Christian people, “but even folks that aren’t Christian are entertained by the stories.”
Martin likens the shows to secular theater productions that depict historical events. The show also has a strong moral, which families would want to teach their children regardless of religion, she added.
“We’re Christian. We don’t try to hush that up or skirt around that,” Martin said. “But you can appreciate it if you’re a believer or not.”
Along with the show, theater goers can enjoy a meal that would have been served during biblical times. The menu includes slow roasted brisket with au jus, rosemary garnished couscous, roasted vegetables on flatbread and sesame fig cake.
“It’s a total experience,” Martin said.
Narroway is known for its live animals who take the stage alongside the actors and actresses. Sheba the camel, donkeys, goats and sheep will also be part of the production. The show opens Aug. 4.
For ticket prices and show information, go to www.narroway.net.