A Message from "Mary"
The last 2 performances of DoveTale, the Christmas play Lee Eshleman, Ingrid De Sanctis, and I wrote in 1997, were performed on December 22 and 23 in Harrisonburg, VA. The shows were emotional, fun, and tinged with a little sadness. Ingrid wrote the following piece for the program. Thanks to all who made DoveTale a part of your Christmas over the last 13 years. ~Ted
“One of the things I love best about acting is crawling inside a character; her thoughts, feelings, point of view. Every character has taught me something about life, myself, others. I love that. For 11 years I have crawled inside Mary playing her in DoveTale. Mary, the mother of Jesus.
The first year, well, I was terrified to play Mary. Absolutely terrified. I was certain no one would believe me as Mary. They would see Ingrid and I would never be the one God would choose. And this is where I have started with Mary every single season for 11 years. But I had to find a way to understand her and play her and I did.
Funny thing about Mary all these years—she always stayed the same age. I didn’t. I played Mary from my thirties now into my forties! Is that possible? I played Mary when I was happy, teaching at Clemson, teaching at EMU, working at Willow Creek. I played Mary when I was in the best and the worst times in my life. I played Mary when my heart was broken, my heart was full. I played Mary when I was full of questions, full of answers, frustrated, lonely, alone.
I played Mary with two of my favorite guys Ted and Lee and then, again, with two of my favorite guys, Trent and Ted. I played Mary when I missed Lee so much I thought my heart would break in the middle of the performance. I played Mary when I wondered if I ever would hold a baby of my own, when I wondered what was next. I played Mary when I felt God holding me and other times when I couldn’t find God at all.
The line that always gets me is in the first scene when Mary says to Gabriel, “You’ve made a mistake. I’m not the one. “ And I think of Mary. This young, simple woman. This impossible moment in her life. An angel shows up and announces the most impossible miracle. A baby. God’s baby boy. For her to raise. Wow. And then Gabriel’s response. “You are not alone. God is on your side of the street.” I have learned so much from playing Mary. Especially about this God who picks us humans when we are SO silly, so undependable, so vulnerable.
I will miss Mary. Crawling inside her. Saying those lines. I’ll miss Ted’s first line when he sees Mary: “You look great.” (We all need to hear that at least once a year). I’ll miss Gabriel’s line: “You’re not alone.” I’ll miss the very end when I look at Gabriel and say; “Thank you.” Thank you. Ted. Lee. Trent. Thank you every single audience who sang Silent Night to us. You.
Thank you. For sharing this very special performance with us. As we say goodbye to this precious journey of DoveTale I feel so grateful. I knew one day I would get too old to be Mary. I do believe something—there is a Mary in all of us. Male. Female. 29 years old. 60 years old. 15 years old. A Mary in all of us. A miracle possibility exists in our lifetimes, I believe. If it is only to know that God is really on our side of the street.
If you are reading this I hope you have felt a moment of being tapped. On the shoulder. For something miraculous. Maybe not to bring the son of God into the world but there must be something.……..Ingrid, aka Mary
(If you missed DoveTale, you can still check it out on DVD, including interviews with Ted, Ingrid, and Lee.)