After 25 years of pouring her hearts, soul and talents into directing musicals at Champlin United Methodist Church (CUMC), Kay Roberts will hand over that one hat — of many that she wears — to someone new. Roberts, who remains the worship director for CUMC, kicked off the quarter-century tradition with the musical, “David and the Giant” in 1988. Later they staged “The Birthday
“A lot of children were taught about Jesus through the arts,” said Roberts. “These years have been a powerful way for the gifts God gave our children to be shared… from dancing, singing, acting and other creative expressions such as lighting, sound, scenery, props and costumes.”
Roberts revels in the magic that is created through a musical and the confidence it builds in those who participate.
“People are always so surprised when they come and see we put on a full-blown musical,” said Roberts who stages the productions during a church service leading up to Christmas.
A musical is a project that no single individual can take credit or responsibility for alone. Roberts is quick to point out how many additional volunteers have stepped up to make the productions successful.
“Directing a musical is not something you do single-handedly and I can’t express enough, the tremendous gratitude I feel for all those who took part in supporting this powerful ministry,” said Roberts. “Each cast and crew member was unique and special and has blessed me enormously.”
A few years after she began directing the musicals, Champlin United Methodist Singers, affectionately referred to as CHUMS, was formed and became an integral part of the productions. The Champlin Hospitality on Wednesdays (CHOW) group also participates.
“Willing youth and adults collaborated to bring Christ’s powerful message of love to many,” said Roberts.
As a generation of children grew up, Roberts enjoyed seeing them take on other volunteer roles as adults.
“What a blessing to watch those who had blessed us from the stage give back by supporting those that came after them.”
Most years Roberts selects the musical from a published script. Other years she has written them herself. But they are always about “telling the old story in a new way,” she said. The musicals have ranged from all youth productions to intergenerational creations such as the one staged this December, “The Christmas Cupcake.”
The story looks in on a group of kids at church who have been selected to appear on the Yum Yum Foodie Network in a cupcake contest. The competition heats up with celebrity judges such as “Julia Wild,” “Betty Rocker,” “Guy Spaghetti,” and “Paula Queen.”
The process sends the children down the wrong life path of trying to win at any cost until “Max” reminds the kids of the reason for the season.
While Roberts remains active as the church worship director and with a host of other pursuits, she is hoping someone will step up and take over the musical ministry at CUMC, which she and many others have loved and enjoyed for so many years.