The story after the story....The Prodigal Edition

The Prodigal Cast and Crew
Photo Credit: Brian Hogan

The last seven months have been the best of my life. I have posted several times already about my journey in auditioning for the Prodigal musical and growing through all of this. I will write more on that later, but today I am thinking about the after story. The epilogue. The parts that we don't think about when a play ends or the credits roll on a movie.

Maybe you do. In today's movie and book culture, sequels and series are the norm. When a story ends nowadays, you can expect that they have left it open for more money making opportunities. However, in Jesus' stories, this wasn't the case.

In fact, in most of Jesus' stories, we hardly got any information at all. Just enough to get His point across.

After all these months of living on the Esmond Ranch and eating, drinking, and doing life with this group of people, I am left to wonder what happened after the Prodigal came home. What became of this cast of characters? 

I know that as soon as we closed our show and before some of us had even gotten all of our makeup washed off, one of our own flew to the Dominican Republic to begin a new life there.

Less than a week later, Mr. E (aka the Father aka TJ), married a beautiful and amazing woman while a large section of his Prodigal family cheered them on. We danced, sang, and ate fattened calf at that party while both brothers sat together and rejoiced. 

While I watched all of this, I wondered if that would have been the case had this been the real story that Jesus told. Would the Prodigal have been welcomed by everyone and allowed to sit at the table with his former friends and family?

Would the Older Brother have sat at the table too? Or would there have been deep, dark resentment? Would he have judged his brother every time he saw him doing something wrong?

What happened when everyone had to return to work after celebrating? Did things go back to normal? I don't see how they could have. Everything was different. Yes, the Prodigal had returned and everyone was happy, but did he still carry around the guilt of not feeling worthy? Did he worry at night when he was trying to sleep about people finding about what he REALLY did while he was gone?

Did the Father live in fear of his boys running off or rejecting him again? Did he wish he had raised his sons differently?

Did everyone they knew watch the family with scrutiny, waiting for it to blow up again? Secretly hoping the Prodigal would screw up once more?

I don't know. I know human nature though. I know it was hard for me to return to normal life after mine was forever altered by being a part of this show. I know that everyone will forever be their character to me and that I will continually say things just the way that Ellie said them. I know that Ellie will always be a part of who I am....honestly she always was I think. {I promise to write more on her later too ;)} You have to think that things were forever changed in the real story too.

I am so glad that Jesus taught in stories like this. He knew that people like me couldn't understand large theological concepts, but need them broken down into things that we understand. He knew I wouldn't have the answers and that I would be full of questions. And I'm sure He is happy that I am turning to Him for the answers. I hope you are doing the same.

Well friends, I must go back to my real job. I hope my lunch time ramblings made sense...if not, I will claim that Ellie wrote them ;)

peace, love, and beautiful stories,
chrissy :)


  1. Made sense? This is brilliant. I love the questions you ask, Chris. That's exactly what theatre is about (good theatre, at least). Asking questions. And Jesus knew that. And I think that's why he left us with a question mark. He wanted us to wrestle. And wonder. And write blog posts, curiously speculating about the cast of characters and their life after the prodigal's return. He didn't want to give us cookie cutter answers because life isn't cookie cutter. But like you said, all He wants is for us to come to Him with our questions. To come home and sit at His table at the place He has prepared for us and ask Him those questions.

    Sigh. Thank you for encouraging me join you in the wrestling. It's a valuable process and so much more valuable when done in community.

    Looking forward to reading your musings on Ellie whenever you're inspired to pen them. You brought that character to life in ways that I think surprised us all. And it makes me smile to see that photo of you playing Ellie; so much life is captured in that frame!

    Love and miss you, Chris!


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