Four years ago today, we published our very first script, Rejected: The Inside Story. To this day, it’s still our best-selling play (although our skit Just Ask Pastor!, released last September, has been giving it a run for its money lately). It also has a special spot in my heart, since it was one of the first dramas I ever wrote and I even performed as the main character in its premiere when I was 16.
A year ago I did my best to identify the Five Reasons Why Rejected is our most popular script, and I think what I wrote then is still true. The play’s setting—the 1950s—is fun for both the actors and the audience. The play’s plot and characters make casting very flexible: some doubling is possible and most of the characters are gender-neutral. The characters themselves are a medley of comical, dramatic, and relatable. The plot engages and surprises the audience with its unexpected parallel to Christ’s life on earth, and lastly, its unconventional approach to Christmas, using John’s gospel rather than Matthew’s or Luke’s, offers a new perspective on the meaning of the Christmas story.
(That was the soundbite version of my Five Reasons Why post. There’s a lot more in the original!)
I’ve been thinking back to the first production of Rejected, when Craig Lindvahl attended the performance and wrote a review that astonished me. Craig is a family friend and an award-winning filmmaker, writer, and teacher. I was so humbled and deeply grateful to read what he wrote:
“Rachelle Ferguson is a supremely gifted writer. I had the privilege of attending a live performance of Rejected: The Inside Story, and marveled at the depth and wisdom of her work. God has gifted this young lady in magnificent ways, and she’s using that gift to teach others. You’ll find her writing accessible, meaningful, and profoundly moving, and you’ll find yourself pondering what you’ve heard long after the curtain goes down.”
It’s certainly my prayer that the stories I write give people something to think about, something that may even change their lives in a small way. I’m thankful for the many mentors and friends who guide me through this writing journey, and for the churches and schools around the country who take the leap of faith to take this script, invest untold energy in it, and offer it to their communities in ministry. My words wouldn’t get very far without you who bring them to life!