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Church plans annual Easter drama

March 24, 2009|By MARLO BARNHART

HAGERSTOWN -- Carli Shank was a natural for her first role in the second performance of the Easter drama, "His Story," 10 years ago at Virginia Avenue Church of God.

That year, she was called upon to lie in a manger wrapped in swaddling clothes while portraying the baby Jesus in the church's Easter drama.

Then just 6 months old, Carli, now 10, was perfect for the role. She was tended by Mary and Joseph, portrayed that year by Paula Bushman and Steve Shifflett.

The first year, the baby Jesus was a doll.

This year, the 12th annual Easter drama will be presented March 27 to 29 and April 3 and 4 at 7 p.m. daily at the church at 17306 Virginia Ave. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are free, though offerings will be accepted.

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Play organizers urge people to arrive early in order to find a parking place and a seat in the sanctuary, which holds 450 to 500 people.

The play runs 90 minutes to two hours. The sets and costumes have been added to and improved over the years.

This year, Carli gets to sing a solo with the children's choir and then go to heaven in a white robe.

She has a lot of acting experience under her belt in her short life, having portrayed an angel and a townsperson in years past.

The Grace Academy fifth-grader is the daughter of Kristi Shank, who is playing an angel this year, and Mike Shank, who is playing a disciple and who also has a singing role.

"My uncle and cousins are in the play too," Carli said.

Lisa Miller is directing the drama again this year. Shawn Bushman has played the role of Jesus since the beginning.

This year, the baby Jesus is being portrayed by Cohen Socks, the newborn child of Rick and Ashley Socks, members of the congregation, Miller said.

"It's been fun and there is a lot of fellowship," Carli said of the experience of performing every year in the Easter drama.

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