Sister, brother share faith onstage

Published 3:30 pm Monday, April 12, 2010

When her 10-year-old son, Parker, was younger, he had no interest in performing onstage, said Jennifer Beasley of Chelsea.

“He could play baseball in front of a crowd, but put him on stage and he did not like it,” Beasley said.

He was adamant about not having to speak in their children’s play last year at Double Oak Community Church, she said.

So, she was surprised — but pleased — when he wanted to be in the play this year.

“He was really stepping out of his comfort zone, but was very excited about his decision to audition for a speaking part,” she said.

Instead of being hesitant about being onstage, Parker’s sister, 8-year-old Halle, has been an excited and willing performer since the age of 3. That’s when she began taking dance.

Halle also sings in public and has been taking piano for a year and a half. She presently attends a children’s acting workshop at Alys Stephens Center in Birmingham.

“This is the first structured program she has been involved in where they teach specifically acting skills,” her mother said. “And she is registered for their summer acting camp. She wanted to take the workshop so she can audition for a part in the summer theater camp. They will perform a shorter version of the musical Beauty and the Beast.”

Last summer, at Shelby County Arts Council’s theater camp, Halle was in a play based on Robinson Crusoe. In this year’s play at her church, she sang a solo part in the production.

The play, titled Sermon on the Mound and presented March 28, was a children’s musical, said Sandy Stephenson, director of children’s programs.

“It had a baseball theme,” Stephenson said.

The Eagles baseball team is in spring training. Coach for the opposing team is “The Prince of Darkness,” is played by Parker. It was a “cool” part Parker said, and fun to play.

“Someone’s playing on a baseball team and needs help because he gets scared, and doesn’t think God will help him, but God does, and he hits a homerun,” Halle said. “The name of the song I sang was ‘Homerun.’ ”

Parker added the play “was about learning about the armor of God, and the power God gives you to fight off the enemy and be strong.”

He auditioned for the play, he said, because he “wanted to please God.”

Shelba Nivens can be reached by e-mail at