Calling all angels. And folk dancers, too.
Located at 1305 Middlefield Road in Redwood City, the largest living nativity in California invites visitors to Travel 8,000 miles and 2,000 years back in history to ancient Bethlehem and experience what life was like that very first Christmas.
Bethlehem A.D. is free and is held every year on December 21, December 22 and December 23, rain or shine.
Rain it did in 2012 but the angels and folk dancers took it all in stride, washing soaking wet and muddied costumes after each performance, ready to do it all over again each night.
There are two groups of angels. The Manger Angels perform the celebratory dances around the manger that is home to the Mary, Joseph and of course the start of the show, Baby Jesus, praising God for His Coming. The Roof Angels dance outside the village atop Tapestry Church. They are the warrior or proclaiming angels, protecting the Christ Child, the village of Bethlehem all the pilgrims who visit Bethlehem A.D. with their dances of prayer and praise.
The folk dancers joyously celebrate with the crowds as they perform traditional and more modern steps.
Manger angels have already started rehearsal, 7 p.m. Thursday night at Tapestry Church. Rehearsals are a requirement as well as attendance for each performance from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Manger angels must be at least 18.
“Don’t let the commitment scare you!,” says the Gold Angel, also known as Theresa Schopp-Sheats. “The manger needs you! If you are slightly interested let me talk you into it!”
The Roof Angels can choose which nights to perform but also must be committed to 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. time frame. They are led by Ruth Brown, often referred to as “Ruth on the Roof.” The age limit for Roof Angels is 14.
Saturday November 9 from 10-2 is the first rehearsal for the folk dancers.
“We’re adding some exciting elements this year, like streamers,” said Ellen Lind, who is heading up the folk dancers in 2013. While adults are encouraged to join the folk dancers, younger children may also join in the fun.
For more information about joining the Bethlehem A.D. , becoming an angel, folk dancer or volunteering as other cast and crew, call 650. 386-3821 X 1302 or visit http://www.bethlehemad.com/.