The story of the nativity is celebrated each holiday season in the form of demonstrations and recreations, and Hellertown’s upcoming Light & Life event will bring that tradition to life in Dimmick Park later this month.
Light & Life: A Living Nativity is being organized by the local community art curators at Honest Imprint. It is the second installment in the organization’s Winter Trilogy of art exhibits, following their ongoing Comfort & Joy yarn bombing taking place in Hellertown’s Borough Authority Park.
The presentation is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 11 at the bandshell in Hellertown’s Dimmick Park. It will contain two performances, one at 4 p.m. and one at 5:30 p.m. A rain date is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 12.
Honest Imprint’s Erica Shorb said the idea behind Light & Life was to continue her organization’s ongoing mission of serving the community in the form of art.
“While Honest Imprint is a community driven arts and cultural organization, not a religious one, faith is of utmost importance to our family and is at the heart of how we choose to live in this world, including how we choose to live and serve in the community,” Shorb said. “A retelling of the Christmas story in an innovative, artistic way is the best gift we can offer Hellertown in this season.”
In Light & Life, the Biblical story of the nativity will be told in a dynamic way featuring music, a thematic set and costumes, local performers and even live animals, such as sheep, goats and calves.
Shorb said the presentation was organized with the help of a variety of local organizations and members of the community, who are contributing in ways such as sewing, baking, organizing and donating their time in other ways.
“This presentation would not be possible without the support of GraceWay Community Church and Flint Hill Farm. As soon as I had the idea, my first two calls were to Pastor Jim Lowe and Kathy Fields to ask for their partnership in this effort,” Shorb said. “When they said yes, I knew it was within reach.”
She received Hellertown Borough Council’s approval to organize the event as part of the Winter Trilogy in mid-October, and the organizing partners have been collaborating on Light & Life ever since.
Shorb said the presentation is designed to offer something to audience members who know the timeless nativity story by heart, as well as those who are hearing it for the first time.
It will begin with Christmas-themed live music, before moving into storytelling, which Shorb said will occur predominantly through music and some narration.
“The spectators will become a part of the scene, onlookers in this life-changing event, as the story unfolds around them,” she added.
Light & Life will feature all local talent, including 25 cast members and ten musicians.
“There is not a professional among us, but many of the musicians have decades of experience behind them,” Shorb said.
Notable cast members include Brandon and Dwight Thompson, who will be portraying the Angel Gabriel and a Wiseman, respectively. Wes Checkeye of Evoke Solar, another partner of the presentation, will be playing the guitar and singing.
Chris Lerch is serving as the presentation’s sound tech director.
“Chris and Wes are well known in the Coopersburg Halloween Parade circuit as the backbone of The In-Laws, a band featured every year with Granny and the Grandkids,” Shorb said. “Last but not least, we are really thrilled to have Nedra Fritzinger join us as character director. She has been a pillar in the local theater community for years.”
Shorb invites audience members to arrive in the area of Dimmick Park early on the evening of the presentation so they can check out the Comfort & Joy exhibit taking place across the street in Borough Authority Park.
Audience members can also stop by the pavilion for hot chocolate provided by The Meadows of Saucon Valley and Chique Catering, as well as coffee and cookies.
Luminaria Night is also planned for Dec. 11, which will make for a scenic walk around the borough before and after the presentation.
Shorb says the event will also have an Honest Imprint tent, where attendees can meet members of the group or make a donation to help support its future endeavors.
Visitors to the tent can also learn more about Peace & Hope, the third exhibit in the Winter Trilogy, which will be a series of window displays throughout Hellertown in January and February.
Honest Imprint is looking for a local professional photographer to donate their services to document the event, as well as wireless spotlights to use in the presentation. Contact Shorb at HonestImprint@gmail.com if you are able to contribute in either capacity.
Light & Life also has a Facebook event page where those who are interested in attending can stay up to date on developments pertaining to the presentation.