Main Character Energy | The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Rector

06.14.24 | Celebration, Community, International, Pulpit Posts, World

Last week I had the honor of attending the end-of-year musical conceived and performed by students at P.S. 169 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Parishioner Zach Pearson was one of the teaching artists who facilitated the production, helping the students take their ideas and turn them into a live action story. Because Zach knows I am all about performance of any kind (and also because I am his mom!), I got the invite—and accepted with enthusiasm.

I hadn’t been to a performance given by young children in a very long time and had forgotten the incredible energy at such events. It started before the house light dimmed and the show began. Families made their way into the auditorium: parents, grandparents, siblings and friends. Kids were running around, and adults talked excitedly to one another. Sunset Park is a multi-cultural neighborhood, so throughout the audience there was a beautiful mashup of Mandarin, Spanish and English.

This authentic diversity continued once the show started, with all three languages woven into the story. And while I can’t claim to be the most unbiased of reviewers, I will report that the production could not have been more endearing. I was smiling and laughing throughout—not because everyone knew their lines perfectly (they did not), or because the dancers were flawlessly in sync (they were not), or because the narrative arc of the story was linear (that the young performers wearing mouse ears and tails were acting out a “Rat Met Gala” had to be explained to me after the fact).

The production was so great, and it was such a joy to be in the audience, because the students brought it. They were all in. They bounded onto the stage. They spoke and sang with energy. They danced with abandon. And when anyone forgot their cue or got lost in the mix, they looked to others on stage who were not lost; who knew the steps or could remind them of their lines.

The title of the show was How the Sun Rose on Sunset Park. By the end of the performance, it was clear how the sun rises, there and everywhere: by way of commitment, collaboration, and unbridled enthusiasm. Which are actually pretty encouraging attributes in discipleship, too.


Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson

Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson


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