Sight & Sound Theatres presents a new production, David with a state-of-the-art performance and inspirational music. The Biblical story about a shepherd turned king runs from March to December 2022 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
David, known as a man after God’s own heart, takes us through his innermost thoughts—often revealed through original music inspired by Psalms—and his fight against Old Testament adversaries. The flashbacks and freeze frames also help dramatize David’s challenging transition into kingship, from the victorious fall of Goliath, fit with slow motion and well-developed suspense, to conquering Jerusalem and defeating the Philistines.
Sight & Sound lives up to the talk of Lancaster County with yet another legendary set dressed in extravagance and fit with memorable scenes. And David feels like a step in a new direction with contemporary tunes, a massive LED screen that extends the scene design, and the signature touch of live animals (horses, camels, sheep, and more) walking across the 300ft stage. The Sight & Sound production of David is more than a show, it’s an experience meant to inspire all.
About The Company
Sight & Sound® is a ministry on a mission to bring the Bible to life through live theater,
television, and film. What started over 45 years ago as a traveling multimedia show has today
become a destination for over 25 million people. With two state-of-the-art theaters, over 1
million people walk through their doors each year. In 2017 Sight & Sound expanded beyond
their two locations with filmed productions appearing in movie theaters nationwide. Sight &
Sound TV launched in 2020, and this online streaming platform has since welcomed a global
virtual audience from over 175 countries around the world.
We spoke with Katie Miller (Director of Marketing and Communications and the oldest grandchild of Sight & Sound founders), Ryan Miller (Producer), and Shane Litchfield, who plays the title character, David.
Knockturnal: What was behind the decision of bringing David now?
Ryan Miller: When we decide to do a new show, we don’t just say which one will sell the best? It’s a really long, prayerful process of like, okay, Lord, what do you feel like you want to communicate right now? It’s about what Bible story matches the current time, or even just what story we feel like we’re not going to be able to sleep until we tell, and so David just started rising to the top. I don’t know how else to describe it. We started talking about it and getting excited about it, and picturing how certain things can come to life on our stage…Then we really started discovering this theme of communion and relationship with the Lord and fallen leaders… I know that I needed the message of the show. And I think our society and the church and everybody also needs it. We can get really caught up in a lot of things other than relating to the Lord and having a healthy soul, and being driven by our careers or even good things that can actually get in the way of having a good relationship with the Lord or even the people around you.
Knockturnal: With the story of David, were you setting out to make an impact in a certain way?
Katie Miller: For me, I hope we can all acknowledge that the last several years have been hard for all of us. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, what your life experience has been. It has been hard. And for me, I hope that the message of David that shines brightest from the stage is that through every triumph, and every tragedy, God is with us. He’s our Good Shepherd. David’s life unfolded with so much good but also with so much hard. He was king, yes, but he was also a warrior, he made some massive mistakes, he lost loved ones, he lost his family, he had so much loss, but whether he was at a high point or a low point, his anchor was always in the Lord. And I think that more than ever, that’s what our society needs right now. I mean, we are all looking for anchors because there’s so much uncertainty.
Knockturnal: Were there any challenges during this time, especially with COVID?
Ryan Miller: Yes. 100%. The way I love working is with other people. I love collaboration. I love being in a room of people that I know really well and trust and can be vulnerable with and we’re just creating stuff and solving problems and working together and talking about the story or an effect. So that’s what I was actually most excited about when it came to producing a show. And that got kind of ripped away from me [during the pandemic]. So the way I like to work kind of got stolen from me for a period of time, not the whole time, but I feel like it strengthened a muscle that I needed strengthened personally. I needed to learn how to be by myself and figure something out.
Knockturnal: Tell me about the launch of Sight & Sound TV during COVID.
Katie Miller: So Sight & Sound TV is one of our more newer initiatives. We launched in the summer of 2020 when we were shut down, and there was no way to bring people to us. And so from all of our basements and living rooms, and bedroom offices, we were jumping on team calls and Zoom calls and saying, how do we go out to them? We can’t bring people to us right now. How do we go to them? And so out of that heart, we launched Sight & Sound TV, and a month after we launched, we did our first ever live broadcast of a production and that was Queen Esther. And it was an overwhelming success and one that kind of took us off guard to be honest. It just unfolded so quickly. And it was not anything that we set out to do, but when the pandemic hit, it just kind of happened and unfolded. And it really felt like the Lord was saying, this is where you have been and I want to take you there, and this is how we’re going to do it…Sight & Sound TV really gives us the opportunity to influence differently, to share our hearts, to share our passions, too.
Knockturnal: What’s your strategy for reaching non-church goers or people from all walks of life?
Katie Miller: We’re about equipping the church at large, to be the church. And so how can we be a tool for people to share with their kids, with their families? I love when people say, my husband won’t go to church with me, but he’ll come to Sight & Sound or he’ll watch a show. Jesus was the master storyteller. And there’s something about stories and music that draw us into what’s unfolding and we see ourselves reflected in the characters, in their triumphs, in their struggles, in their challenges. And I think we’re inspired by stories. It’s such a safer space than I think what a true church building can be for some people sometimes …For us, it’s as much about being accessible as anything… And so we know that it’s unlikely that an unbeliever who’s not interested in the Bible or scripture or faith, to drive down the road and see a billboard and say, I want to go see that. They probably won’t. But if they have a loved one in their life, who says hey, this is a really spectacular experience. Will you come with me and be inspired… a lot of times that’s how we see people being reached.
About The Production
Knockturnal: What was it like portraying all those different aspects of David, the musician, poet, warrior, king?
Shane Litchfield: I’m still learning what it’s like. It’s amazing. It’s incredible. I mean, it’s awe inspiring, just everything that David was… Honestly, the thing that resonated most is the musician part of it. I mean, I love writing music. I loved working with this team. It was incredible. They really groomed me in a lot of ways. And it’s so special that some of the things that I get to sing are things that the Lord gave me to sing. I feel like that’s how I relate to Him. That’s how I commune with Him.
Knockturnal: The music felt like almost a different style for Sight & Sound. Could you speak more about that? Was that intentional?
Shane Litchfield: Yeah, I don’t think there was ever an intention to just be different for different sake. I think that we just knew that it was going to be a very worshipful show by nature. We’re singing the Psalms…and so I think that yeah, they wanted to find someone who knew contemporary worship. Gabriel Solomon Wilson was part of the team and he has written some big hits on the radio, produced some big hits for Christian radio. Which is amazing.
Knockturnal: Was that his first time writing for Sight & Sound?
Shane Litchfield: Yes, it was his first time writing for Sight & Sound and it’s so cool. He did a great job. And I think that it opens up a new possibility for Sight & Sound. I really think it’s heading in a great direction.
Knockturnal: Let’s talk about the animals and all the other skills, such as playing the harp, riding a horse, dancing, in addition to acting and singing. Was there anything you had to learn to bring this role to life?
Shane Litchfield: I had horse time in Esther, which I think prepared me to ride the horse in David and just get familiar with the sheep, the camels, and the goats and everything. I definitely feel more comfortable because it just feels like second nature now. This is just starting to feel like home. I spent a third of my life here in this building, working here. I just walk by animals all day. And I love them. I pet them, get to know them, I know their names… And just playing the harp. I mean, I play guitar, normally, and so they built the harp in such a way that it looks like a harp, but it plays like a guitar.
Knockturnal: What was it like producing the set, especially the Goliath scene?
Ryan Miller: I feel like I produced the show David and then Sight & Sound produced the scene of Goliath. I feel like it was all hands on deck because we knew that it was gonna be up there with parting of the Red Sea, or temple collapse, or walking on water. And it just couldn’t be a Ryan Miller scene… And so there were so many influences on just what that scene should be…I feel like I can take almost no credit. Our team, just all of us, sort of ran with it. And we’re so passionate about making it up to the level of our audience’s expectations.
Knockturnal: This is your first time stepping into the role as producer at Sight & Sound. How different was it for you?
Ryan Miller: I was on the design team for about 15 years, working on shows with media and even some effects and different things like that. And I got a front row seat sort of, watching the producers… And so that was an amazing opportunity. I can’t imagine coming in here and not doing that for like 15 years and just diving in. I don’t even know where you would begin because you’re dealing with animals and effects and protocols and just how stuff works in the dark with all these people, and it’s just such a complex thing. So I feel like it does take that amount of time to get your head wrapped around Sight & Sound.
Knockturnal: What do you hope people will take away from this production?
Shane Litchfield: I really hope that people can take away that we have the same relationship with the Lord that David did, and we have the same access to him, if not more now, because of Jesus honestly. And so we just have such beautiful access to the Creator of the universe, and that we can live daily in communion with Him. That every moment of our lives can include the Lord. There’s a line to show that: God is after your heart, be after His. He loves us so much. He just wants us to love Him back in the way that He loves us.
For tickets and more information about Sight & Sound click here.