Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

November 29, 2013

Playwright creates new show for Hahira church

HAHIRA — Jackie Johnson’s latest play came to her in a dream, which is only appropriate since it is a play about all of the biblical dreams surrounding the birth of Christ.

Hahira United Methodist Church will present “Christmas Dreams” this weekend. The show is the latest one created by Johnson with musical arrangements by collaborator Willie Character.

Several years ago, Johnson moved to Hahira to be closer to her daughters, Jeanne Marie Gregory and Judy Long, as well as grandson Dustin. She had spent many years living in Waycross, working 20 years at Waycross College. There, Johnson taught sociology classes, served as administrative assistant to the college president, and worked in admissions and student records.

She also directed plays. She had participated in theatre during her high school days. At Waycross, she was asked to co-direct a play, not knowing the principal director planned on leaving.

She inherited the Waycross College theatre program, and loved it. She produced and directed numerous plays and musicals. Johnson also developed her creative partnership with Character.

In the early 1990s, they created the musical shows “Mama’s Boys Are Winning” and “Froggie Went a Courtin’” and now, two decades later, they have created “Christmas Dreams.”

Through the years, Jackie Johnson has continued her theatrical pursuits by creating short Christmas pageant pieces for Hahira United Methodist Church. She describes them as “short skits on Christmas Eve whenever the church couldn’t find one.”

Two years ago, she was asked to create a short play for Christmas Eve. She turned to the Bible for inspiration.

“I read Matthew and Luke, ... You don’t realize now many dreams there are,” Johnson says. Reading about all of the dreams surrounding Jesus’ birth inspired her dreams. She created a story about a girl who falls asleep during a Christmas Eve church service and she dreams of the “Christmas Dreams.”

But the church never performed this skit two years ago. Johnson’s beloved mother, Edna Johnson, died at the age of 93 only two days before Christmas 2011.

Instead of presenting the short Christmas skit, Jackie Johnson and sister Bobbie Johnson prepared for their mother’s funeral.

Their mother loved Christmas and the sisters had Christmas songs performed during the funeral service. They knew their mother would have loved the carols. Their mother also loved the children’s church song, “Jesus Loves Me.”

Since the “Christmas Dreams” skit was never performed, Jackie Johnson lengthened the story. She reached out to Character to arrange the music. She wanted to include “Jesus Loves Me” in the production, but she said nothing to Character about this wish. She did not want to tread on his musical vision for the show.

Much to her delight and amazement, Character included the children’s song, the song so loved by her mother, in the show without Jackie Johnson ever saying a word.

Christmas and dreams work their own brands of miracles.

“Christmas Dreams” plays 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1, Hahira United Methodist Church, 208 N. Church St., Hahira.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • echols_alapapa.jpg WWALS gets grant from river network

    The Willacoochee, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Little River Systems Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS) received a $500 Alapaha Water Trail Grant from the Georgia River Network

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140718-ARJim2.jpg Teacher at home anywhere in the world

    Variety is the spice of life. South Georgia is home to a diverse group of people, each with a unique life story. One man with glorious tales of travel and selfless volunteer work is Jim Kokoruda.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • fire2a.jpg Blaze damages North Lowndes home

    Lowndes County Fire Rescue responded to a fire call Sunday at 3756 Cross Creek Circle near Bemiss Road.

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • 140719-KidsInc3 copy.jpg Kids get a taste of retail operations

    Valdosta Mall shoppers may have noticed a few additional shopping options Saturday as they walked through center court.
    Children ranging in age from 6 to 15 years old set up booths and sold products to consumers.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140719-UnseenProject7 copy.jpg CrossPointe welcomes ‘Unseen’ travelers home

    CrossPointe Church members gathered Saturday to greet their pastor and fellow congregationalists returning from a filmed two-month-long motorcycle trip across the nation and back.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • election.jpg Runoff set for Tuesday

    Advanced voting ended Friday for the runoff election from the May 20 primary.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Modern Woodmen RC copy.JPG Woodmen welcomed to Valdosta

    The The Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce and its Ambassadors welcomed the Valdosta chapter of Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, July 15.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140718-Photo_Contest002.jpg First-time entrant wins People’s Choice Photo Contest

    The Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts hosted the 2014 City of Valdosta People’s Choice Photo Contest, the sixth of its kind, Friday evening. For Megan Knebel, best of show winner, this was her first time entering into a photo contest.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • police-lights-backgrounds-for-powerpoint.jpg Hotel workers’ tip leads to arrests

    A tip from hotel employees about suspicious activity led to the arrest of two Florida women on prostitution and drug charges Thursday.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140718-I75-Wreck005.jpg Interstate 75 wreck victim life-flighted

    A multi-vehicle wreck on I-75 in Lowndes County Friday resulted in injuries, according to authorities.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

School starts again in about two weeks. What do you think?

It's still summer. School starts too soon.
Seems like the right time to return.
Abolish summer recess. Make school year-round.
     View Results