First Baptist Church of Glenarden's "The Uncut Coming of Christ" (Courtesy of First Baptist Church of Glenarden)

The First Baptist Church of Glenarden recently brought Broadway style to an old-school classic with its annual production of “The Uncut Coming of Christ.”

From Dec. 9 through Dec. 17, the all-Black cast turned in a dramatic and contemporary adaptation of the birth of Jesus Christ.

“I come to this play every year,” said Sophie Jordan, a longtime D.C. resident and one of thousands who came out to view the play during its run. “You don’t have to be spiritual to enjoy this one, but if by chance you are, then that makes the show even more special. The cast and people who produce this show every year do an amazing job on lighting, costumes, performances and just overall acting.”

Directed​ ​and​ ​co-written​ ​by​ ​local playwright​​ Joshua​ ​Jenkins​ ​and​ ​Stellar Award-winning​ gospel recording ​artist​ Anthony​ ​Brown at the church’s worship center in Kettering, the nearly three-hour production featured performances by gospel stars Chrystal Rucker, 16-year-old phenom Kelontae Gavin and D.C.-area recording artist Tiya Askia.

“The whole goal for this play is to reach the community,” Jenkins said. “It is more than just entertainment. It is telling the story of Jesus in a provocative way. It is not spooky spiritual. It is a story that everybody can relate to.”

Now in its ninth year, the massive production takes audience members on a whirlwind journey, as King Herod looks to destroy newborn Jesus to prevent the prophecy of his arrival from coming true, killing many other innocent young boys in the process. The reenactment proved to move many throughout the audience.

“Wow,” said Joseph Brown, a Prince George’s County resident and student who saw the production for the first time. “I’ve never really seen anything like this before. I felt like I was somewhere else and I really enjoyed the experience. I’ve gotta say, in today’s world, religion just isn’t that popular, but productions like these are enough to make you wonder and really reconsider what you thought to be true and right.”

Lauren Poteat is a versatile writer with a strong background in communications and media experience with an additional background in education and development.

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