Archive for July, 2010

Christmas Musical Spotlight: How Far is it to Bethlehem?

July 31, 2010

A few posts ago we looked at the musical “Follow the Star,” which focuses on the story of the wise men.  Here is another new musical that deals with that story, but from a somewhat different angle.  “How Far is it to Bethlehem?” imagines that Herod sent a few of his servants to join the caravan of the magi to serve as spies.  The spies try to cover up the real reason for joining the caravan, but in the end, they learn about Jesus, the Messiah.

The number of speaking parts is small in this 42-minute musical (two boys, two girls and some narrators).  There are also many opportunities for non-speaking roles, such as the characters of the biblical Christmas story.

The music has a more traditional sound and is easy to learn.  There are nine  songs: “Come Ye Lofty with O Come, All Ye Faithful,” ” Open the Gates, O Jerusalem,” “How far is it to Bethlehem? with O Little Town of Bethlehem,” “While Shepherds watched their Flocks,” “What will we Find,” “Star Song,” “One King with We Three Kings,” “Not that far from Bethlehem,” and “I Give it All with Offering.”

Click on the link below to listen to samples of this musical.

How Far is it to Bethlehem?


Christmas Musical Spotlight: Back to the Manger

July 28, 2010

The next new Christmas musical in the spotlight is “Back to the Manger.”  As you can imagine from the title of this 45-minute musical, time travel plays a part in the story.  In the program, a group of kids are attending a caroling outreach at church when they happen upon something the church janitor has been working on…a time machine.  Our heroes end up bouncing around in time, landing at Christmas Eve in various different eras.  The characters visit the 40’s, 50’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s and the songs reflect the styles of music popular during those time periods.  They also visit the very first Christmas.

This musical, like most, was written with a children’s choir in mind, but it has a lot of great possibilities for puppets.  The variety of musical styles used creates a lot of chances for unique puppets, props and choreography.

There are nine songs: “Back to the Manger,” “Can You Hear the Bells with Angels we Have Heard on High,” “Let Us Love,” “Come Let Us Adore Him with O Come, All Ye Faithful and Away in a Manger,” Ring, Ring-a-ling,” “Song of the Sheep and the Goats,” “Peace on Earth with I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” “Ring the Bells,” and “Back to the Manger (Reprise)”

Click the link below to listen to clips from “Back to the Manger” at One Way Street’s website.

Improv Invitational – The Alphabet Game

July 27, 2010

Here’s a brief taste of the Improv Invitational at I-Fest 2010.  A bunch of talented puppeteers from our teaching staff took part in this event.  This particular game features Dave Privett and Branden Treu improvising a scene in which they tell the story of Gideon.  However, they must start each of their lines with a certain letter, slowly working their way through the alphabet.  The video was shot from quite a distance, so it’s hard to see the little rod puppets they used, but you’ll still enjoy the humor as well as the fact that they actually managed to tell part of the story.

I-Fest Photos 2

July 26, 2010

Here’s a few more photos from the 2010 International Festival of Christian Puppetry and Ventriloquism.

Once again, our daily devotional was brought to us by our favorite Brit, Paul Morley. CD’s and DVD’s of Paul’s messages for 2010 are available for purchase here: Paul Morley Messages 2010

An I-Fest tradition is for attendees to bring their hands-on workshop creations to chapel the next morning for a sort of show-and-tell.

Puppeteer David Hellyer instructs his class in some of the finer points of puppet manipulation.

Here’s some Puppetry Dream Team members taking a moment to pose during one of their daily rehearsals.

Ventriloquist Gene Cordova and his buddy Bongo were featured during the Tuesday night program.

The Bonilla Family showed how a family can minister together with puppets, choreography, and lots of fun!

Christmas Musical Spotlight: Follow the Star

July 26, 2010

It’s July and you know what that means…Christmas!  It may be warm outside, but this is the time of year that publishers introduce their new resources for Christmas.  One Way Street is THE place to go for a huge variety of Christmas programs for children’s choir and puppets.  Our website features audio clips from both the songs and the dialogue segments of these programs, so you can preview these resources in-depth.  There are seven, yes seven, new programs available this year.  We want to take some time to introduce these new resources to you.  We’ll begin with “Follow the Star.”

This musical is a part of Brentwood’s Simple Plus series.  That means it is a bit shorter (only 23 minutes) and simpler in format.  It also means that there are two options for performing the program.  You can choose to use the drama segments to join the songs together, or use the optional narration for the “simple version.”  Both scripts are included in the songbook.  However, only the full story script is recorded on the listening CD.

The program tells of the birth of Jesus through the story of the wise men.  They are shown visiting Herod before visiting Mary and Joseph and their home after Jesus has been born.  This is actually more accurate than the scenes we often see of the wise men and the shepherds all gathering at the manger.  The shepherds are brought into the story through one of the songs.  There are 8 speaking parts, including Mary, Joseph, Herod, and the three wise men.

There are five songs, “Follow the Star,” “We Three Kings,” Out of the Bethlehem Sky,” “Adore Him,” and “Carol Medley.”  The medley includes “Joy to the World,” “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” and “Angels We Have Heard on High.”

The songbook includes some simple staging and production tips as well as some instructions for some simple song motions.

If you have a small choir or puppet team, this program is simple enough for them to present in a big way!  Click the link below and listen to clips from this program!

Follow the Star

I-Fest Photos 1

July 25, 2010

We’ve been back from I-Fest for a week or two now but we haven’t had the chance to post any photos from the event yet.  Well let’s solve that problem right now.  We’ll share a few pics here and try to post some more over time at our Facebook fan page.  If you aren’t a One Way Street fan on Facebook yet, just search Facebook for “One Way Street Events.”

Enjoy the photos!

Alan Root was our praise & worship leader for the week. He also wrote the theme song for the event.

Joe Bruce was our opening night ventriloquist performer.

The S.T.A.G.E.D. Puppet Team from Omaha, NE also performed on Monday Night. Here a few of the puppeteers pose with one of their unique blacklight puppets.

The team also did a unique piece that combined elements of human video with some large rod puppets. The piece was geared for an older audience. Who says puppets are just for kids?

Here some attendees work on building some puppets in one of the pre-con hands-on classes.

More photos to come in the weeks to come.

God’s Chisel

July 23, 2010

Those of us who teach and lead at One Way Street’s puppet festivals often end up with Facebook friend requests from youth who are serving as puppeteers in their churches. They see us at the festivals, look for us on Facebook, and then friend us. It’s great when their “updates” fill us in to how God is working in their lives. Sometimes they even challenge us…that’s what one of them did with a video they linked today. We hope you enjoy the creativity of this piece and the message.

Invest Award 2010 – Harry Barrett

July 22, 2010

Something special that has happened at many recent I-Fests has been the presentation of the “Invest Award.”  Dale VonSeggen created this award to recognize individuals who have really given of themselves in helping to plant and encourage other ministries.  This year we surprised Harry Barrett, the founder of One Way UK with the award.  He is the first person from outside of the US to receive the award.  You can watch the presentation via the video below.  Congratulations Harry!

As Dale mentioned in the video, Harry has a real heart for ministry in Romania. Harry has just released a new CD called “Holiday Rock” which features 12 parody songs for Christmas and Easter put together by Mark Bradford (of the Righteous Pop Music series) and part of the proceeds from the sale of this CD go toward the ministry in Romania. You can listen to samples and order the CD here: Holiday Rock.

Christmas in July

July 21, 2010

Christmas is still a few months away, but July is the time when publishers of ministry materials unleash their new Christmas products on the world!

So head on over to One Way Street’s website for “Christmas in July.

There are seven brand new Christmas musicals available this year, plus a bunch of other classic programs! Whether you’re looking for a program for your children’s choir or your puppet team, you’ll want to check out these new shows. You can listen to audio samples of both the music and dialogue segments at

In addition to these new Christmas musicals, there is also a new holiday CD featuring parody songs by Mark Bradford…”Holiday Rock.” The CD features six songs for Christmas, six for Easter, and part of the proceeds go to help toward children’s ministry work in Eastern Europe.

So go ahead an hang up your stockings…it’s Christmas in July!

Streetwise Ministries

July 20, 2010

Follow this link to a great video about our friends Pat and Terry Powell (also known as Baskin’ N Sonshine) of Streetwise Ministries. It’s a short video that gives you a quick version of their story of moving from high paying corporate jobs to full-time ministry.