Briercrest Presents: A Christmas Prodigal

Posted: November 1, 2016

This Christmas, A Briercrest Christmas is proud to present A Christmas Prodigal, a dramatic retelling of the parable of the prodigal son.

Captain Shaw’s great annual Christmas party is in full swing as the curtain opens. Although endowed with a captaincy and a ship from his father, Alan Shaw has become disenchanted with the family business. Determined to pursue a life of selfish ambition, he flees the family home. Following disaster after disaster, Alan finds himself penniless and forlorn on the docks of Halifax. With nowhere to turn, the memories of home beckon him to return to the embrace of a loving father. Upon his return Alan is welcomed with open arms, reminding family and guests of the true meaning of Christmas, and the power of a father’s love.

Artistic director Ron de Jager explains that the story of the prodigal son was chosen because of how relatable it is each of us.

“There are times in each of our lives that we’re just selfish and we don’t see beyond that. I think that ties into Christmas so well because Christmas is all about giving—it’s about God’s greatest gift. We see how this prodigal misses the whole point because it’s all about selfishness and getting whatever he can for himself,” de Jager said. “Of course the story is about the son, but I think even greater than the son, is the story about the father who is incredibly loving.”

This story has been significant in de Jager’s own life and he is excited to share it this Christmas.

“I think there are points where everyone can identify through that. Ultimately it’s an incredibly loving father who cares no matter what—even when the son wanders off and does his own thing, which of course is a picture of what God, our heavenly father, is like.”

With a mass choir, orchestra, soloists, and small ensembles, the production is more than just a story; it is a dramatic musical experience.

de Jager explained the unique opportunity this year for alumni to join the mass choir for the Sunday afternoon performance.

“In celebration of my 15th year here, we’re inviting anybody who has ever sang in the choir or taken voice lessons with me to sing in the Sunday morning service here as well as the nativity scene in the musical on Sunday afternoon,” de Jager said.

The musical, coupled with the turkey dinner  and the craft sale,  provides a warm, homey  atmosphere for the weekend, and is a great way to kick off the Christmas season.

Cast member and Briercrest student Tim Petkau describes the weekend as a welcoming Christmas experience. “If you’ve been thinking of coming, think of it as coming home,” Petkau said. “If you feel like you have a place that you call home, that’s great. We’ll be a part of that for the night. If you don’t, I think we offer an environment where someone can come home if they don’t have a place they can call home.”

A Briercrest Christmas takes place December 2 -4, with performances of A Christmas Prodigal on Friday and Saturday evenings at 7pm and Saturday and Sunday at 2:30pm. For more information or to purchase tickets, call us at 1-888-462-2202 or visit us online at We hope to see you there!