Christian family theater. Creatively staged and directed.

Rachel Ryan

The acting bug first came when I was in first grade and was offered the role of Mrs. Claus in our class production. I was only given the part because the teachers thought I would be able to memorize the lines. They had no idea that it would become my life's passion.

When I was a teenager I was asked to join The Good Foot Players, a traveling Christian theater troupe. We traveled around Monmouth County bringing the message of Jesus Christ through drama. I was the youngest member of this group at the time. This experience led to me being a part of an annual passion play titled Very Early in the Morning and annual Christmas production called It's His Birthday Mr. Scrooge. When I was 16, I received my first directing opportunity and haven't looked back since.

In the years that have followed I have had many opportunities to direct, act and write. In 2001, I became the Assistant Theater Director at Saint John Vianney High School in Holmdel and took over as Director in 2004, a position I still hold. I have been afforded the opportunity to direct many well-known shows, such as Grease, Leader of the Pack, Little Women, Bye Bye Birdie, Our Town, Footloose and A Midsummer Night's Dream.

In 2003, I became involved with Monmouth County's oldest community theater, The Monmouth Players. I have starred in shows such as Jake's Women (Karen), The Laramie Project (various roles), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Nurse Ratched), Dancing at Lughnasa (Maggie) and Taking Leave (Alma). I have also acted as assistant director and even served on the board of directors for a year.

In 2006 I saw my first full-length play take the stage at Saint John Vianney High School. A Place Like This, a story about a group of high school seniors whose friendships are tested as they prepare for the future, shows a powerful connection between students and their school theater. Since then, I have had the pleasure of seeing The Ladies' Man, a one act about an unlikely relationship, debut on The Monmouth Players stage and The Dash in Between and Heard it from the Great Vine open on The Good Foot Players stage.

It has been a blessing over the last couple years to see The Search for Christmas and Running Through the Fire come to life with Lighthouse Production. My passion for theater has only grown over the years and I have been blessed to have so many teachers and experiences to help me refine it.
Russ Scalzo

I would like to take a few minutes to tell you a little bit about myself. I spent my early years with a rock group called the Hallmarks. We were signed to Mercury Records and had limited success in the late sixties and early seventies. Through several incredible events and miracles I gave my heart and life to the Lord in 1974.

I toured the U.S. and Canada with Saved by Grace a contemporary Christian band until 1988. I served as worship leader and board member of my local church for 14 years from 1992 -2006. I now work with Searchlight Church in Long Branch, NJ helping them with evangelism and various outreach ministries.

I have had the privilege to share my gift of song writing with many different churches, colleges and outreach ministries over the years. I have written the music for several musicals including "It's His Birthday Mr. Scrooge", "I Heard it From the Great Vine", "The Search For Christmas", "Running Through The Fire" and most recently our newest show "Ransomed".I have also written a series of novels and study guides on the days leading up to the second coming of the Lord.

It is and has been my privilege to minister with my whole family my wife Gail and daughters Rachel, Leah and Stephanie for many years. Through the prompting of the Holy Spirit my daughter Rachel and I formed the theater company Lighthouse Productions in 2008. It is our desire to see all of God's people come together to proclaim His mercy and His love to this generation.

May the Lord bless you as you follow him. See you next time at the theater.
In His Service,
Russ Scalzo