Inner-City Movement (ICM) is a Christian Non-Denominational Bible-based theatre ministry located at Theatre 7000 in the Greater Philadelphia region. ICM trains youth ages 7-19 in many facets of theatre production including acting, musical composition, costume/prop construction, and digital technology. The youth help to create and present professional level shows that bring the Bible to life in a 360° projection dome equipped with moving seats, flying actors, wind, scent, mist, and bubble special effects. The domes’ interior becomes a canvas for animation and video, with limitless interactive capabilities that bring the participant and the viewer into the time and place of the Bible.
We are committed to discipling the youth in our area through hands-on training, mentoring and equipping them with practical skills. We are also dedicated to expanding what we do now and sharing what we have learned with others. To this end, we are now undertaking the project of creating the Actor’s Bible app that will allow other believers around the world to do what we do anywhere.
For generations past, there was knowledge of right and wrong. Whether it was acknowledged or not, these absolutes were based on biblical truths. It has been disheartening to find that today’s children are growing up in one of the most biblically illiterate generations. These young ones are truly oblivious to the Word of God. While 87% of American households have a Bible, very few Americans (8%) have a biblical worldview. The significance of this reality is immense and impacts every facet of children’s development and worldview.
Due to the theatrical nature of our mission, ICMovement has been engaging with the Bible as a script for quite some time. The Lord led the directors to begin this process with their own family and then to incorporate these same methods with youth and families served through the ministry. They have witnessed the immediate impact of families discovering, enacting, and knowing God by roleplaying the characters in His story. Participants simply read a portion of Scripture, act it out, and think through character analysis questions. These questions lead an exploration of who each character was, what they wanted, and ask; “how did things work out for those who wanted what God wanted” and “how did things work out for those who did not want what God wanted”. This process has served to be effective for all ages from young to old and in both small and large groups. During its outreach to youth over the past ten years, ICMovement has endeavored to guide youth to know the Bible, to know God’s complete story from beginning to end, and to understand their role in God’s story. ICMovement has desired to assist others to utilize similar methods as many have reached out and requested duplication of its programing nationally and internationally. The AB is the means by which the ministry will be able to accomplish this goal.
ICMovement is requesting prayer and support as we develop a unique, emerging technology that is the next generation’s way to experience, learn, and present the Word of God. The ActorsBible is an app and gaming simulator in one, created to make acting out the Bible in families/groups effortless. The ActorsBible includes a scripted, chronological version of the Bible, in which stories are broken up into acts and scenes. Each scene (story) is comprised of character headings, suggested props, character biographies, sound and visual effects, and story setting to facilitate enactment.
After a story is selected, and participants have picked their parts, the person playing the director presses play and controls the speed of the scrolling teleprompter that appears on all participants web based devices like a smartphone. If a secondary screen, projector, or multi projector setup is connected; 360˚ visuals of the Holy Land locale, sounds, and other effects such as storms, armies invading, seas parting, and change in mood of music will execute right on cue. This interactive virtual world can be explored in HD quality with the tool’s built in navigation joystick. The software comes with it’s own multiple projector mapping and edge blending tool, that is configured when a user first sets up their user venue account. Participants can project this virtual backdrop on one, or multiple screens, four white walls, or in a projection dome. Other features will include, vibration cues that alert the participant that their characters lines are approaching, original karaoke songs that help to reinforce key truths learned in each story, short videos with acting tips, accurate maps of the setting, and a point and title system that keeps track of the participants progress.
The ActorsBible can be used in homes during family worship, or in larger groups for vacation Bible school, church services, the missions field, youth groups, and even in the underground church. The ultimate goal in the AB is for participants to read and enact the entire Bible, thus impacting biblical literacy and worldview, amount of time spent in the Word, an understanding of God’s big story in the context of each book, and growth in the knowledge of God. The ActorsBible utilizes the biblical text verbatim, without taking creative liberties, giving participants the ability to re-live bible stories. The dialogue is written in first person, with ‘he/she said’ references omitted, to enhance the natural flow. Redundant accounts of stories are also omitted, but are cited for reference. The AB is an adaptation of the World Messianic Bible (a version of the World English Bible) - which has a Jewish cultural emphasis that will enhance the actors’ ability to identify with the characters. After each story participants answer a list of Character exploration questions about the characters and God, resulting in character development in all participants.