"Come unto me and ye shall partake of the fruit of the tree of life..."
Alma 5:24

How is the show staged (i.e. blocking, sets and props)?

In his writings, Nephi repeatedly emphasizes his “delight” in “plainness.” (2 Nephi 33:6) In keeping with Nephi’s approach to his own teaching and testifying, the entire approach to telling his story on stage, including blocking, props, and sets, is kept very simple. The only sets and props authorized for “With Mine Own Hand” are listed under “Props and Sets.” Anything else may be suggested in the blocking if necessary, but otherwise is left to the imagination of the audience. This approach gives the show a clean, polished look overall. Even more importantly, it keeps us focused on the actual story and doctrine rather than on things. It also reinforces the idea that such “things” are illusive, while the people and relationships are eternal. This metaphor is further emphasized by the contrast between the Tree of Life scene and the rest of the show: the physical presence of the Tree, Rod, and Building is meant to convey the truth that “spiritual” things are “real”.

As for the blocking, a trademark of “With Mine Own Hand” is the stylized, deliberate, nearly choreographed staging of the action, including the use of tableaus. This suggests to us that we are “reading” Nephi’s “book.” With each new scene, it is as if we have turned another page and gaze upon a still illustration, which then comes to life, and then ends again as a “picture.”

To summarize: the mantra of the Directing Team must be “plainness.” The potential impact of your production will come from the music itself, the dramatic performances of the actors, the story as told in Nephi’s own words, and, most critically, the Spirit of the Lord.

Props and Sets

The Plates of Nephi
Table and stool for Nephi with appropriate covering and sundry “decorations” for his set
The sword of Laban
Laban’s armor
The brass plates
2 Stools or baskets for characters to sit on
Rope which is used by the brothers to “tie up” Young Nephi
Tree of Life (the central object of the show)
Rod of “Iron” (Plexiglas tubing with rope light as in the original production)
The Great and Spacious Building
The Liahona
Raised platform which serves as the bow of the ship

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