time to dance collageBy the Grace of God, a friend and I have a written a musical,” said the Rev. Dr. Patsy McGregor. The show is called MIARAKA – A Time to Dance and it is coming to St. Gregory’s church this month! The show has come a long way since Patsy and co-writer, Collette Maurel, met on the beach in Mauritius back in the summer of 2013.
“After Cyclone Haruna hit Toliara, Madagascar, Patsy asked me to help put some words to song to help ease the heartache she was feeling,” said Collette. More words came to mind and Patsy thought, “This is fun…wow this is really working. Let’s do this again!” And that’s exactly what they did. They kept writing songs. Eventually they had over 50 songs!
Several months later, Patsy was awake at 2:30 am. She kept asking herself what should she do since she’s wide awake. Then these words came to her mind: listen in the silence. “I thought huh, that’s one of the songs we wrote,” said Patsy. “Then it was like a big bucket of water poured over my head and this whole story line  came to me about a woman who is caught in the middle of poverty, trafficking and prostitution.”
The rest of the story line continued to flow into Patsy’s mind about how God’s mercy rains down hope, freedom, peace and love on this woman. And through redemption and hope, life becomes a time to dance! Patsy wrote by the light of the moon for an hour. After, she went to her computer and typed it all up for two hours. At 5:30am, she texted Collette, “God has been at work through the night. Meet me on the beach if you want to hear about it.”
At 6am, Patsy tells Collette that the songs that they have been writing are for a musical. “We didn’t know what we were doing. We didn’t think it would be a musical,” said Patsy. “We were just writing songs and having fun really. Just chicken scratching some words on paper. But we believe we have sort have been chosen to be good stewards of this musical.”
The show has now been performed in Mauritius, South Africa and Madagascar. This performance at the end of the month in Boca will be its first time in the United States. Both Patsy and Collette hope the musical continues to grow. “My hope is that the show gets to go to the places it is needed, that others will want to take it on and stage it in one way or another,” said Collette. “It is a beautiful way of evangelizing and at the same time helping the less fortunate. Through song and dance, God’s Light and Love can be taken to others.”
This story is dedicated to the women of Madagascar but it has an international story for everyone. “Any of us could be Mary (main character), because life without God is hopeless and full of despair,” said Patsy. “But once we know God, our life can change. and we gain dignity and honor and the abundant life God gives us brings us to a time of dance.”
By: Elena Tayem
Come experience this original musical production at St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church!
Showtimes: Friday 9/23 & Saturday 9/24 at 7:30pm + Sunday 9/25 at 2:00pm
For tickets and more information: go the Miaraka: A Time to Dance Facebook page or call 586-801-0082