"I think this is a wonderful alternative, to be able to go and watch a play, especially with children," said Carolyn Hoover, like Moody a member of New Hope Community Church, rented for the event but not a sponsor.
Besides her annual "Narnia" productions, for the past six years Moody has offered a range of programs for area Christian or homeschooled youth, including summer programs, summer performing arts camps and a USO show.
This past summer, Moody skipped her usual performing arts camp because, after holding auditions in May, she wanted her cast to focus on "The Horse and His Boy." Taking an unusual approach, she assigned parts and handed out scripts shortly after the audition. She challenged the students to return in the fall ready to go "off book" -- that is, with lines memorized and ready to rehearse.
Moody believes that drama is an excellent outreach for Christians. She also sees a resurgence of interest in the arts, using theater as a ministry that allows participants to share their talents while glorifying God.
"Jesus taught in parables, parables are stories," Moody said. "He taught that way for different reasons. But we use the same idea: We teach in parables or stories by doing theater on the stage, which makes the message real to people."
Hoover, part of a church team that presents "The Promise" every Easter featuring a cast of 150 adults, seconds the notion that drama can help spread Christian gospel.
"If you make the show good enough people will come," she said. "If it was well done, you hope a seed is planted."
'The Horse and His Boy'
-Where: New Hope Community Church, 5100 Bethesda Court, Williamsburg
-When: Friday, Oct. 30, and Saturday, Oct. 31, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
-How much: $4 for adults, $2 for students; available at the door or online at www.thehap.net.
-Contact: Lynn Moody, 313-2420; www.thehap.net