Mormonad Night

by Janet Thomas

Associate Editor

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    A rhyme, a song, a dance—all packed into a gospel message. That’s a Mormonad on stage!

    What can you do with five wooden cubes and five minutes?

    That’s easy. Create a walking, talking Mormonad.

    Instead of putting on road shows, the teens of the Ogden Utah Burch Creek Stake, took on the challenge of doing something different. They had a Mormonad night. The Young Women and Young Men leaders found that with such a large stake (11 wards and 600 young people), it would be impossible to get through regular road shows comfortably in one evening. So another kind of creativity took over.

    “We presented the wards with the idea of putting on five-minute skits or commercials about gospel subjects. We got the idea from the Mormonads in the New Era” said Nila Dayton, stake cultural arts specialist. “We gave each ward five wooden cubes that they had to use in some way.” The cubes were big enough to sit or stand on and became the basis for the simple, portable scenery.

    There were a few other rules as well. The wards were given just three weeks to prepare. This avoided the lengthy and exhausting preparations that sometimes go with road shows. The curtain would not be closed between skits, so all scenery and props had to be carried on and off with the actors. And each ward was encouraged to include a song and a dance.

    How did it go? In most of the wards, the young people really took over. Andrew Noyes of the 74th Ward said, “About ten of us showed up to the planning meeting. We kept thinking of fun commercials and how we could change them. Then we started writing lyrics to go with a song. We were writing new verses right up to the night we had to put it on.”

    “We liked being so involved,” said Kathryn Norton of the 77th Ward. “We liked having a say instead of the leaders doing so much of it.”

    Nolan Godfrey of the 60th Ward said, “It was a lot easier and more relaxed.” His friend Andy Mair added, “There wasn’t as much stress because we were just doing it for fun.”

    These teens know how much a clever jingle can stick in your mind. On this night, a few familiar tunes had new and improved lyrics. The Mormonad night was packed to the back of the cultural hall. The skits were fast and fun, and most important of all, they each made a good gospel point.

    Pack a lot of people and shows into one short evening, using portable props and inventive costumes. Then use songs and humor to teach a gospel message. Ryan White, Matt Dayton, Ryan Webber, Jennifer Buckway, and Amy Thurston demonstrate how to have a great time. (Photography by Craig Dimond, Phil Shurtleff, Jed Clark.)