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Locals helping with church musical performance
By ANNA KARAKAS | For the Independent
A man named George Muller wanted to become a missionary in 1830. His wish was to travel to some distant land and teach the Christian message, but instead he ended up at a small church in Bristol, England.
The challenges Muller faced in that small town make up the plot of the musical “The Kids of Bristol,” which the Evergreen Performers are performing at a local church this weekend.
The Evergreen Performers have been based in Gig Harbor for 29 years, but 12 of the members are Port Orchard residents.
Robin Gaston, assistant director and producer, and Bonnie Melanson, who plays the role of Mary Muller, Muller’s wife, are both locals.
“I’m humbled to be the assistant director,” Gaston said. “And humbled by how much people bring to this. The talent is exceptional.”
She also stated that she was “blessed to see how youth from my church have stepped up.”
Melanson said that working on a production “brings challenges, but that makes you want to rise to the challenge and through that you grow.”
Fred Karakas, owner of Olympic Bike and Skate in Port Orchard, plays the mayor of Bristol. He said that his favorite part of the production was, working with “talented young people, the music and the message, and the late nights.
“Doing something different every night fuels my sense of adventure. It’s a blessing."
One unique thing about the Evergreen Performers is that they are a traveling show. “The Kids of Bristol” is set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, and 4 p.m Sunday at Grace Bible Church, 7070 Bethel Burley Road SE, in Port Orchard.
“I’ve had to adapt,” said Arri Cinocco, a stage hand from Port Orchard. “It’s been really crazy, but really fun.”
One of the main goals of the Evergreen Performers is to “serve as a bridge between churches” and bring their shows to more than just the Gig Harbor area. And the Evergreen performers achieve this goal not only in the way their shows travel, but in how the members of the cast and crew all come from different churches and areas.
“It’s a ministry outside of any one church, reaching out to the community and though the people involved, come from more than 20 different churches,” Gaston said. “We’re able to put differences aside and just work together.”