As the production Savior of the World was developed, it was important to place the earthly events surrounding Christ’s birth and resurrection in the greater context of eternity. In order to suggest this connection between heaven and earth, the production team designed the colonnade with its railed walkway above the stage. From the colonnade—which represents heavenly space—prophets, angels, and the heavenly hosts observe mortal events taking place on the earthly sphere, the stage floor.
Consequently, the chorus of Savior of the World functions in two major roles. First and most often, the ensemble represents heavenly beings who witness the action from above as a reminder of heaven’s great interest in the lives of those on earth. Through musical numbers, the chorus offers a heavenly perspective on the events below: “Come, Lord Jesus—Opening Act One,” “Come, Lord Jesus—Wedding Song,” “Come, Lord Jesus—End of Act One,” and “Come, Lord Jesus—Opening Act Two.” At other times, select members of the chorus share in the joys and sorrows of those onstage by joining the soloists: “Look on Me This Day,” “Where Is He This Morn?” and “Alleluia.” In order to keep this heavenly perspective from becoming static and meaningless, the entire ensemble should not remain on the colonnade. After each choral number, the colonnade should gradually clear, leaving only a few individuals and small groups to observe the action below.
On the stage floor the chorus serves as additional townspeople, Israelites, soldiers, and other mortals when needed. Small groups of ensemble members may fill in scenes such as townspeople listening to the Roman statesman’s proclamation. Individuals may also be used in as specific minor characters, such as prophets, apostles, Roman soldiers, Mary's aunt and cousins, and so forth.
As a group, the entire ensemble appears on the stage floor in only two instances. In act one, scene 1.2, the chorus serves as faithful Israelites worshiping outside the temple as Zacharias burns the incense, and in act two, scene 3.2–3.3, the chorus gathers as the Apostles teach Christ’s gospel. The entire cast then unites in anticipation of the Savior’s millennial return “Come, Lord Jesus—Finale.”
In the Conference Center Theater production, chorus members wore drapes—long rectangular pieces of fabric—over their basic costumes while participating in scenes on the stage floor. Then, as heavenly beings on the colonnade, they removed their drapes and wore an angel robe over their basic costume. (For additional information, see Costumes.) While many costume approaches are possible, white clothing suggestive of temple attire should not be worn by the ensemble when representing heavenly hosts.
To help maintain the distinction between heavenly and earthly space, directors may choose to have the chorus enter and exit the colonnade out of sight of the audience. However, angelic messengers such as Gabriel, the angel to Joseph, and the angel to the shepherds descend directly from the colonnade to the stage floor. This emphasizes their divine role in bringing God’s word from the heavens to the earth. In two specific instances, members of the ensemble also represent heavenly beings on the stage floor. In act one, scene 3.5, select ensemble members surround Mary and Joseph at the Nativity. Later in act two, scene 1.3, small groups of angels enter the stage in fulfillment of Samuel the Lamanite's prophecy that many would be resurrected with Christ.
Because of the dual nature of the chorus, the Savior of the World cast can be flexibly adapted to needs and availability. The ensemble can be as small as the cast of characters, with those not in a particular scene serving as heavenly beings witnessing from the colonnade. Or it can be expanded by including others whose only role is to participate in the chorus. Whatever its size, the chorus as a body bears testimony of the true importance of the mortal events surrounding the Savior’s birth and resurrection, events of great significance through which God’s plan of redemption has been unfolded for all His children.
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