Whether in a home setting with just a smartphone, or in a 360˚ projection dome equipped with moving seats, wind, mist, scent, bubbles, snow, and flying actors, imagine experiencing the Bible as a participant in the great Story.
Introducing the Actors Bible
For generations past in the United States, there was knowledge of right and wrong. Whether it was acknowledged or not, these absolutes were based on biblical truths. It has been disheartening to find that today’s children are growing up in one of the most Biblically illiterate generations.
Enter stage right Inner-City Movement (ICM), a Christian Non-Denominational Bible-based theatre ministry in the Greater Philadelphia region, which trains youth ages 7-19 in many facets of theatre production including acting, musical composition, costume/prop construction, and digital technology.
During its outreach to youth over the past ten years, ICMovement has endeavored to guide youth to know the Bible, to know God’s complete story from beginning to end, and to understand their role in God’s story. Their desire to assist others to utilize similar methods has led them to create the Actor’s Bible app, a unique, emerging and immersive technology that is the next generation’s way to experience, learn, and present the Word of God like never before.
A Participatory Experience
The Actor’s Bible is an app and gaming simulator in one, created to make acting out the Bible in families/groups effortless. The Actor’s Bible includes a scripted, chronological version of the Bible, in which stories are broken up into acts and scenes. Each scene (story) is comprised of character headings, suggested props, character biographies, sound and visual effects, and story setting to facilitate enactment.
After a story is selected, and participants have picked their parts, the person playing the director presses play and controls the speed of the scrolling teleprompter that appears on all participants web based devices like a smartphone. If a secondary screen, projector, or multi projector setup is connected; 360˚ visuals of the Holy Land locale, sounds, and other effects such as storms, armies invading, seas parting, and change in mood of music will execute right on cue. This interactive virtual world can be explored in HD quality with the tool’s built in navigation joystick. The software comes with it’s own multiple projector mapping and edge blending tool, that is configured when a user first sets up their user venue account. Participants can project this virtual backdrop on one, or multiple screens, four white walls, or in a projection dome. Other features will include vibration cues that alert the participant that their characters lines are approaching, original karaoke songs that help to reinforce key truths learned in each story, short videos with acting tips, accurate maps of the setting, and a point and title system that keeps track of the participants progress.
“Doing Actors Bible is my favorite part of the day! When we pick our parts, we run and find costumes and props from around the house. Then we get to act out the Bible story. It is so much fun to do that with your family. The songs are so catchy, We get to pray together and answer questions about God and us, and how we will obey God. I like it when friends and neighbors come over and we get to do this with them too! We have so much fun!”
— A Kid
The Actor’s Bible can be used in homes during family worship, or in larger groups for vacation Bible school, church services, the missions field, youth groups, and even in the underground church. The ultimate goal in the AB is for participants to read and enact the entire Bible, thus impacting biblical literacy and worldview, amount of time spent in the Word, an understanding of God’s big story in the context of each book, and growth in the knowledge of God. The Actor’s Bible utilizes the biblical text verbatim, without taking creative liberties, giving participants the ability to re-live bible stories.
The dialogue is written in first person, with ‘he/she said’ references omitted, to enhance the natural flow. Redundant accounts of stories are also omitted, but are cited for reference. The AB is an adaptation of the World Messianic Bible (a version of the World English Bible) – which has a Jewish cultural emphasis that will enhance the actors’ ability to identify with the characters. After each story participants answer a list of Character exploration questions about the characters and God, resulting in character development in all participants.
“A tool that demystifies the “how to” of Jesus’ command to go make disciples. This makes it so simple and doable!”
— A Ministry Leader
Find out more and follow the progress of this exciting project, due for public release in late Spring, using the link below.