The life of evangelical churches and their spiritual leaders has been portrayed in some recent films and series. Can they help us start conversations?
The show's producers hope that the play will give Chinese people a biblical perspective to improve family relationships, a big challenge in China.
The Chinese New Year started on 28 January 2017. During the festivities around this important event, Chinese people enjoy all kind of different activities.
FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS, A CHALLENGE IN CHINA
Many Chinese have never heard of the story about the true love relationship between Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi.
The show's producers hope that the play will help Chinese people to get an insight into the biblical perspective, so that they can understand how relationships within the family can be sustained.
Modern Chinese newlyweds often have difficulties in dealing with their relatives. Without good guidance on solving conflicts, families go separate ways. For many young Chinese women, maintaining the family unit is a challenge.
According to a state media report, almost four million marriages were divorced, the number increased by 5.6 per cent over 2014.
“BIBLICALLY ACCURATE AND RELEVANT TO THE AUDIENCE”
"We have worked hard to make the play biblically accurate", costume designer Feng Zhen said. “The younger generation enjoys the theater and we are making efforts to make the story more relevant to them."
The cast had just 40 days to rehearse before the show's opening, and the directors worked hard to deliver Ruth's message in a simple way.
"The only question I thought about the whole time was, 'How should we present this Christian story?'", show director Huang Lan pointed out.
The company has created additional characters in the story, because “we want the audience to see that wrongdoers are just part of life, however, the righteous will always win the important battles in the end”, they explained.
"We invited historians from Israel to design the stage scenes, along with the music, with us . We hope our audience is going to enjoy the time-travel experience", they said.
The cast members are professional actors and actresses, a milestone in Chinese Christian theater history.
A PLAY THAT CHANGES LIVES
During rehearsals, several actors said they had never heard of the Old Testament or the Book of Ruth. Some said they were touched by her story.
Christian cast members told them about how Jesus changed their lives, and at least one actress came to know Christ.
For many Chinese Christians, being part of this play is also a way to rekindle a relationship with Jesus Christ.
"For so long, I haven't had time to read the Bible on my own, I used to make excuses to the Lord. While I was practising the lines, I had opportunities to read the Bible and I felt the Lord is inviting me to be united with Him again. This play challenged my walking with the Lord", one of the actors told CBN News.