Sarah-Lynn Styers and Faithe Shank have taken their Barnabas mentoring relationship into the theater.
Faithe is in her fourth year of Joy El Generation’s 4.12 Leadership Training Program. When Faithe applied for the program, she needed to recruit an adult mentor to help her make the most of the experience, so she asked Sarah-Lynn if she would consider walking alongside her. “Simply put, I was honored,” Sarah-Lynn states. “I was honored that she trusted me to serve in that role for her.”
Four years later, their mentoring relationship now includes a strong dramatic emphasis—literally. Sarah-Lynn leads the drama program at Faithe’s homeschool co-op, and the two are also quite involved with the Star Theatre’s live productions (www.startheatrepa.com).
With a lengthy history in theatre, including a college minor, Sarah-Lynn was a natural for leading the drama program at Faithe’s homeschool co-op. She teaches the students not only acting, but theater history, terminology, blocking, projection, moral decision-making in the industry and more. This year the co-op is preparing to present Little Women at the Star Theatre in May.
Sarah-Lynn has enjoyed watching Faithe’s confidence develop through their dramatic pursuits. “I’m usually a quiet person,” Faithe explains. “But onstage that doesn’t really limit me. I find it very fun to do.”
“I’ve enjoyed watching her further come out of her shell,” Sarah-Lynn states. “She has really blossomed. This confidence will help when she serves as the dining staff manager at Joy El Camps & Retreats this summer.”
Both Sarah-Lynn and Faithe have found it fun to be involved in the Star Theatre’s entrance into live production (the Star has historically been a movie theater). They were involved in the Christmas production at the end of 2022 and are now involved in the upcoming Easter play, Once More with Passion. Sarah-Lynn plays Tanis, a lead character. Faithe serves as a stagehand and in a walk-on role. They are excited about the theater’s mission to reach people beyond church walls.
“Christians often kind of put off theater because it tends to be so secular,” Sarah-Lynn said, “However, if you look at Sight & Sound Theatres, they only have two theaters but have made such a big impact in the world. We are excited about making an impact for God out of little Mercersburg.” (The theater is located in Mercersburg, PA.)
At minimum, those involved in the production of Once More with Passion hope that attending the faith-focused play will get people thinking more about their relationship with God and perhaps consider returning to or trying a church.
Faithe graduates from high school and from the 4.12 Leadership Training Program this spring. Sarah-Lynn hopes the mentoring relationship will continue beyond their formal time in the program. “I had no one helping me during that key transition in life,” Sarah-Lynn explains. “That didn’t go well for me. I want to be there for Faithe to pray and to provide a listening ear.”
“I definitely want to continue our mentoring relationship,” Faithe agrees.
To see this mentoring pair on stage, call the Star Theatre for tickets at 717-220-3318 or find out more at www.startheatrepa.com. Once More with Passion takes place April 1, 2, 7 and 8.
To learn more about the 4.12 Leadership Training Program, visit [here.]