Sonshine Productions is a musical drama ministry based in Columbus, Ohio, rehearsing at Bethel International United Methodist Church.
Sonshine produces original Broadway-style musicals that are based on both Old and New Testament stories. Full costuming, props, lighting, and sound along with an exciting contemporary musical score help bring these Biblical texts to life. Since 1980, both youth and adult casts have performed Sonshine musicals all over Ohio and across the country.
Sonshine has gained a reputation for excellence and strives for professionalism and spiritual integrity. Our most recent cast featured 30 teenagers from the Columbus area. Sonshine is led by founder and director Mark Fox, Director of Music at Bethel and former Director of Instrumental Music at Franklin Heights High School in Columbus.
Words From Director, Mark Fox
Why did you create Sonshine, and why does it still exist?
I created Sonshine with some friends in high school who were not interested in just having a choir experience, but wanted a true drama experience. Unhappy with the material available at the time, we began to write our own material. Although I never dreamed it would still be a vital ministry 35 years later, we have continued the ministry because it still seems to speak to both our casts and our audiences.
Why teenagers as opposed to adults?
Actually, we have had some adult casts in addition to our annual youth casts. It started as a teenage activity because those of us who started it were still teenagers! But we also have a large group of alumni who sometimes perform as well. Teens are still the focus of our work, though, and I think they find this a great way to express and explore their faith.
What do rehearsals consist of?
A typical rehearsal has singing and acting training along with community building and a time of devotion. We always end by taking prayer requests and holding hands together as a cast to lift each other’s needs and joys up to God.
Why is Sonshine considered a ministry?
We believe that the Bible is made up of wonderful stories that tell the larger story of God. By sharing these stories in a dynamic and compelling way, we are sharing the Gospel of Christ.