"Our youngest (13) watched a DVD of the original 'Prodigals' about a million times! Then for Christmas she received 'Here I Stand.' She knows all the songs! When I told her you were performing an updated 'Prodigals,' she was so excited. She ordered a DVD with her own money. This morning she found her DVD in the mail. She was so excited! She's watching it now, the first time of MANY I'm sure. Just wanted to let you know this family appreciates all your efforts! Such good songs to be meditating on."
Hatter’s Daughter 2021
"My 90-year-old mother with dementia [saw Hatter’s Daughter on stage] and was totally enraptured by it and talked about it for hours afterwards. It was a serious miracle! When daily life disappears so fast for her, that she could remember this hours later is a miracle! I treasure that memory!!! Music was exceptional, storyline was fantastic! We laughed, we cried, and rejoiced!"
"I hope you do another one soon. [Hatter’s Daughter] was so good and I was so impressed with our local talent. The message was great and one we sure need right now."
“'Hatter’s Daughter'” was a super entertaining show, “It’s a Wonderful Life” meets "Singing in the Rain" meets a Hallmark Christmas Movie."
From a board and cast member: "Well, another wonderful Clarion musical, 'Hatter’s Daughter,' in the bag! Great music, great message, great audiences and great new relationships with fellow performers and crew. It’s always bittersweet to work so incredibly hard for several months and only do one weekend of shows, but somehow I still keep signing up, lol! I guess I just can’t help myself!"
"It was as if
ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER
had come to
after seeing "Here I Stand" premiere
Reviews for "Here I Stand"
"The actors, lyrics, music, story, choreography, set...everyone and everything was fabulous. Thank you to all involved for your talent, time, and efforts. We hope to see it on Broadway someday! If you missed it, we are sorry.
-Tim and Marcia Evans, Grants Pass
from the Daily Courier, Oct. 25, 2017
in a letter to the Editor
John Buckley Sleadd, You really did it this time. I was so impressed with this original musical. It was entertaining in so many ways. The voices were wonderful, acting carried the story line skillfully, and the humor was entwined so well through out the story. Thank You so much for a very entertaining afternoon.
It was a wonderful production - fabulous group effort - celebrate your achievements and be proud of what you've done - it was amazing!
I absolutely loved this play. It was as if I could imagine being there. Very thought-provoking. Also, in this crazy world it is good to see how good can overcome anything. Thank you so much!
I fail to recall the last time I laughed so much in a theatre - stage or screen - as I did during the "Why Not Me?" number in "Here I Stand." Marvelous musical. Full of heart, content, and good writing, but John Sleadd never takes himself too seriously so the final product is still a rollicking good time. Ryan Imel's portrayal of Luther conveys all the angst we would expect while simultaneously allowing other performances to stand on their own and shine. Really, kudos!
-Candace Larinda Kretzer
We had such a wonderful time! The cast was awesome, the lyrics and compositions were amazing, and the historic message was so refreshing. Thank you guys for all your hard work and for answering the call to put such an impressive production together.
for "Candle in the Night"
October 28, 2016
‘A Candle in the Night’ musical chronicles Martin Luther’s life (Theater preview)
Photo by JOHN NEYHART
By Kathleen Alaks
of the Daily Courier
To most people, the life of Martin Luther, father
of the Protestant Reformation, may not seem like
fodder for a musical. But John Sleadd is not
"But John Sleadd is not
Sleadd, who last year gave us "The Prodigals —
Faith Can Lead You Home," a musical based on
the biblical story of the prodigal son, is hard at
work on a new story: "Here I Stand: Life and
Legacy of Luther."
A sneak peek into this work-in-progress is being
presented on Sunday at Gateway Church on
Sunday's program, "A Candle in the Night,"
will include a slide show of highlights from
"The Prodigals," four fully choreographed songs
from the new Luther work, an interview with the
composer and locally made desserts.
The Sunday program takes its name from the lyrics
of one of Sleadd's songs:
"Like a candle in the night, leading others to the light, to know that we are saved by faith in Christ alone."
Those lyrics are from the show's closing anthem, "We Burn." Other songs to be presented are "One Step Closer," a mother's prayerful song of grieving; "Indulgences," about the practice of paying for penance; and "Monking and Nunning," as Luther joins an Augustinian monastery.
The cast includes Leanne Strom, Brynlee Morrison, Lexie Imel, Lisa Bokenkamp, Christine Morrison, Sharon Giddings, Ariel Kostrna, Ryan Imel, J.J. Scofield, Spencer Morrison, John Sleadd, Caleb Sleadd and Ron Strom.
Like"Prodigals," "Luther"is being produced by the newly formed faith-based nonprofit Clarion Theatre Company, founded by Sleadd and his wife Arden.
Sunday's programs will offer not just a chance to hear some of the show's songs, but will give the public a chance to learn more about the theater company and contribute to its work.
The theater company is not affiliated with any particular church. Company members come from several different churches in the area.
"Here I Stand" is slated for production in October 2017, the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.
The Dominican monk Tetzel (Ron Strom, standing) sells indulgences in a song from "Here I Stand: Life and Legacy of Luther" with, from left: John Sleadd, Leanne Strom, Caleb Sleadd, Christine Morrison, Lexie Imel, Ryan Imel, Sharon Giddings, J.J. Scofield and Ariel Kostrna. Songs from the work-in-progress musical are being presented, with dessert, in two shows on Sunday.
for "The Prodigals" 2016 Premiere
"The Prodigals" is an uplifting, feel-good show with a positive Christian message that is central, but not overbearing. It's fun family entertainment.
-Kathleen Alaks, Grants Pass Daily Courier
July 1, 2016
"TRULY one of the BEST plays I have ever seen! There were times that I laughed and times that I was moved to tears. The writing, the acting and singing, the directing, costuming, props and lighting...the WHOLE thing was incredible...it was POWERFULLY moving! Thank you, Clarion Theatre Company, for sharing your gifts with our community...SO looking forward to your next production! To my friends that missed it...all that I can say is...DON'T miss the next one!"
-- Christine Coulter
"Hard to believe this is the company's first year. Wow! The music and singing was fantastic, very professional. And the acting was top notch. I highly recommend any production in the future that they produce. I know I can't wait!!"
-- Wendy Arthur
"Saw 'The Prodigals' last night....so much fun! It was obvious that a TON of work had gone into the production, and we were very impressed. Mr. Sleadd, you are a highly talented individual and we are grateful to God for your vision in bringing this kind of entertainment to our community. We look forward to your next project!"
-- Jan-Rob Culton
"I just want to tell all of you what a wonderful production this was! I have never seen local theatre or a Christian production so well written and produced. Congratulations to each and every one of you who must have worked tirelessly! I was amazed :-)"
-- Libby McLain
"Barnstormers Theatre was graced with a family show this past week when the Family Sleadd and the Family Kostrna teamed up with the Family Imel and Family Strom and supporting cast to present "The Prodigal" to packed houses. What a pleasant experience for those of us who were fortunate enough to get tickets to this meaningful, musically-enhanced story of forgiveness. Thank you all for your 'precise' work."
-- Cliff Kuhlman