Nurturing God-given talent
Many may know Dan Widdowson who, between 2000 and 2007, was a Saturday Disney presenter. But even more of us know him as the talented co-host of Hope 103.2 FM’s breakfast show with Laura Bennett.
But Dan is also a scriptwriter and Associate Pastor at Coast Community Church, on the Central Coast. He has a deep desire to perform and help others unlock that “God-given” talent within them.
Dan’s passion for performing and encouraging the talent of others has seen him launch the Salt House Theatre Company. They’re offering workshops, performance groups, and touring groups for six-year-olds to adults.
Salt House Theatre Company was born from a ministry that Dan and his wife Leia ran during their time on Norfolk Island. In the three years they were there, they ran both a youth group and a separate drama group.
“We found that more young people attended the drama group and opened up more about their life dreams and life struggles,” says Dan of the group on Norfolk Island. “Perhaps this was because when you take to the stage, there is a level of vulnerability and trust of the others on stage with you.
Inspiring young people
The Widdowsons brought the idea back to the mainland.When Dan took over the role as Associate Pastor at Coast Community Church, it has continued to enhance the youth ministry he is involved with. In 2014, Dan produced and directed Beauty And The Beast and they have just finished a season of Mulan.
“We had so many young people get involved and unlock these talents they never knew were inside them,” says Dan.
“I hold a firm conviction that God has placed unique gifts inside every single person. Sometimes we’re unaware of these abilities, that is until we take the time to explore.
“At Salt House Theatre Company, we work in teams with the purpose of discovering the skill set God has placed inside each performer,” explains Dan. “We then train the performer to fine tune and practice their gifts alongside others.
“Enrolling in a Salt House Theatre Company workshop gives you the opportunity to create unique performances as part of a performer-driven creative conglomerate. Throughout the workshop, performers practice the art of improvisation and storytelling. Gradually the ad-lib performances are grouped and scripted, serving as the base for a mid-year and end-of-year showcase.”
While there are a lot of theatre groups around, few offer the opportunity to be encouraged in the performance gifts that Dan believes Salt House will pinpoint and cultivate.
Salt House has a unique connection to the Uniting Church, with workshops being held at Kincumber Uniting Church. “It has been a blessings to work with Kincumber Uniting Church,” says Dan, of working with the local Uniting Church. The Kincumber Congregation shares Dan and Leia’s desire to reach into lives of the Central Coast’s young people, in a positive way. “They caught the vision of helping young people find their God-given gifts and wanted to work alongside us.”
Salt House Theatre Company enrolments are currently being taken for 2016. Click here to become part of Salt House.