The Source of My Strength: Samson, A Sight and Sound Production

By Katrice Stallworth- 9th Grade, Trinity Christian School

For forty years, Sight and Sound Theatres blessed viewers with their portrayals of biblical characters and stories. Glenn and Shirley Eshelman’s vision started as a two-person slide show expanding into an extremely successful theatre company with two main bases and over 600 employees (Branson, Missouri, and Lanacaster, PA).
In the summer of 1976 at what was then called Living Water Theatre the first production, A Land of Our Own, premiered. My family has had the pleasure of seeing Joseph, Jonah, Moses, Noah, and most recently Samson; with the exception of Ruth and the Christmas Story. Producers continue to study God’s Word and bring modern adaptations of biblical characters to life. In this particular biblical adaptation I found Samson’s character to be extremely relatable. Samson like me struggled with letting God take complete control of his life, but felt as if he was alone in the world and longed for someone to be with him. The writers and actor showed Samson’s longing for someone to fill the void in his life expertly. Before Samson was conceived an Angel of the Lord appeared to, Manoah and his wife, Samson’s parents. The Angel told them that Samson could never cut his hair or drink wine and that he was destined to save the Israelites from the Philistines.

The play began with young Samson hiding from children who teased him because of his uniqueness. Later in life he found someone(Delilah) other than his parents, who loved him despite his differences. Samson obeyed God by not cutting his hair or drinking wine, but still longed to live a simple life for himself, without restriction. He loved Delilah blindly, but she betrayed his trust for a large sum of money. God overlooks our flaws(as if he was blind to them) and loves us despite our constant betrayal. Samson used this fact to find strength in God once more and destroyed the house with himself and the Philistines inside.

The set designers created pillars that collapsed on cue along with light fixtures dangling in the aisles. The walls literally tumbled down. It felt as if I was in the building with Samson. I was reminded that God is always with me even when it seems that the whole world is an opposing force. His [God’s] grace overpowers any circumstances I would highly recommend attending any or productions. Sight and Sound Theatres is a thought provoking experience for adults and children alike.

KatriceKatrice is a rising ninth grader at Trinity Christian School. She resides in Penn Hills. Katrice participated in a writing workshop at Luminar; as a reward for competing in an essay competition. She participated in Western Pennsylvania Writing Project the past 3 years, she plays basketball, runs track, and enjoys reading.

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