The Encouraging Word with Karen Bonasso


The other day I went to a Shakespeare Play performed by the LA
Shakespeare Co. It had an Ensemble Cast of about 15 people, which
made it very enjoyable to watch. There wasn’t much to the stage, nor
to the small room that held the stage. There wasn’t even a set, just a
few props. The costumes were simply well picked, contemporary clothes.
All of these factors together made it a unique experience. Unique
experiences always make me think and pray!

An Ensemble Cast, simply stated, means that every performer in the
cast has the talent to play the principal character. Because the
actors were professionals each played their own part, whether small or
large, with great skill and passion. It was marvelous to watch even
the smallest line and part to be brought to the stage with such life.
The strengths that each actor brought to the scene filled the stage
with energy. The performers themselves became the set!

It took a lot of preparation time to bring such an Ensemble together.
With everyone so creative, the Director, I’m sure, would have to make
the final decision among several great ideas being offered. But the
Director of an Ensemble Cast would have to be very unique himself. He
would have to allow for the full expression of each player, yet
harness it in such a way that a cohesive unit would form and the play
performed well. Since I have a close relationship with one of the cast
members, I am also aware that the performance grows and changes each
time. The Director has to give his critique after each of the
performances to make sure that, in the midst of the freedom of
expression he allows the actors, the integrity of the initial vision
of the production is not compromised. It is at once consistent and

I can remember every actor and actress and appreciate what he or she
brought to the stage. The play would have been very different if just
one of them were missing.

This wonderful experience made me think of 1 Corinthians 12 in the
Bible. This is the Scripture where Paul is explaining to the
Corinthians how important each person is and how important the gifting
of God that each person brings is to the proper working of the Church.
If the Church could work with the attitude of an Ensemble Cast how
amazing it would be! And what a delight, I’m sure, to the Lord who

” …the (Holy) Spirit…distributing (gifts and ‘parts’) to each
one individually just as He wills. For even as the body is one and yet
has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are
many, are one body… for the body is not one member, but many… now God
has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He
desired… if they were all one member where would the body be? ” 1
Corin 12: 18-19

Note to Phil Bonasso: Thank you for the joy of waking up to a man
excited to see me every morning.

Leave a Reply