PROSPECT HEIGHTS — This Christmas season, artists in New York are using song, dance and storytelling to tell an old love story in a new way.
Centered around the relationship between the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, “The Miracle of Christmas” is a musical recounting the events that the two saints experienced leading up to the birth of Christ.
The show, which is in its third year, is being produced by the Preachers of Christ and Mary, a community of religious laywomen who are originally from Colombia and who now serve the Diocese of Brooklyn. Their goal is to evangelize through the arts.
“The Miracle of Christmas” will have two performances on Dec. 21 at the Queens Theatre in Corona.
During a rehearsal on Dec. 7 at St. Teresa of Avila Church, Prospect Heights, Mother Maria Amador, P.C.M., the show’s director, described the show as a way to “make the Gospel more visible and human … God is invisible, but through the arts we can make God who is invisible, visible.”
The show’s new original script, songs and choreography portray how the holy couple’s love for each other allowed them to face the obstacles that ultimately led them to the Christ child.
“I think it’s really important to be telling this story right now,” said actress Hannah Duran, who was raised Catholic and plays the Virgin Mary. “It’s a message about love and acceptance.”
The message of love can be seen in the meticulous planning of the production’s moves, sights and sounds.
“The harmonies are different and more rich. There are more details in the songs,” said cast member Melissa Bijur, a former cantor at St. Joseph’s Co-Cathedral, Prospect Heights, who plays St. Anne, mother of the Virgin Mary.
“I think that during this show, there are many things that people can relate to. In the first scene, people are feeling darkness,” she said. “We enter a transition to a place of light and hope. And I can relate to that, reflecting on myself.”
Andrew Clarke, who played St. Joseph at age 13 for another production, said the new show reflects his own faith journey. “It’s been like a homecoming for me,” he said. “It affirms for me sometimes, God’s plan for your life — that you may not always see what that vision is, but you have to trust and believe.”
Cast members come from all around the world, including from Finland, Greece, India and Spain.
“We have a very international cast,” Mother Maria said. “People from different nations, trying to say that salvation is for everyone.”
The Preachers of Christ and Mary create props, costumes and set design by hand for the show, relying on the generosity of donors.