LANCASTER, Pa. (BP) — Shane Litchfield, the lead in Sight & Sound’s “DAVID-Live,” describes the role as universally relatable. But King David especially resonates with Litchfield, himself a songwriter, composer and vocalist.
“What really attracted me to (the role) is that he wasn’t just a musician, he was an artist, that he expressed himself with the Lord through music. And that’s something I can relate to a little bit,” Litchfield said. “I’m a writer and composer myself. I really enjoy spending time just writing songs for the Lord, and just connecting to Him through music. That’s been integral to our relationship.”
Litchfield said he composed “bits and pieces” of the music throughout the production debuting 7 p.m. Eastern Sept. 2 at Sight & Sound TV.
“One specific piece I wrote is the ‘I’m after your heart’ portion in Psalm 23,” he said. “I got to write a little bit for Psalm 51 in David’s repentance moment. That was really beautiful to be able to cowrite that with (lead composer) Gabriel Wilson.
“Because I play the guitar, that’s why it’s worked out with me playing this harp live on stage. In those little ways, we definitely connect,” Litchfield said of himself and David.
Litchfield enters the production when David is about 16 years old, leading a diverse onstage cast of 55 actors and actresses and 29 live sheep, Sight & Sound Director of Marketing and Communications Katie Miller told Baptist Press.
“David has 29 sheep and 14 (sheep) understudies,” Miller said, “in case one of them is having a not-so-great day. We have 29 sheep in the show, David’s flock, that run up and down the aisle and across the stage. They truly do steal the spotlight.”
The streaming, with four livestreamed encore showings Sept 3-4, offers a worldwide audience a musical dramatization of David’s life from shepherd boy to king, DAVID-Live producer Ryan Miller said.
“DAVID … is a story full of unexpected adventure,” Miller said. “The production explores all of the complexities of his life, and how through his triumphs and failures he persevered as a man after God’s heart.”
Portraying David as a man after God’s own heart deepened Litchfield’s personal understanding of both David and God.
“Portraying him on stage, just learning more about the relationship between honestly God and man, and how he was just daily interacting with Him and daily praising Him and worshiping Him and living his life with Him” Litchfield said, “that’s something that has really been eye opening to me as a performer and honestly as a Christian.
“Just connecting with the Lord and what that looks like. Even in the good times and the bad, just kind of running to Him and expressing our hearts to Him,” Litchfield said. “In those ways, I’m starting to learn more about who David was. He was a lot of things wasn’t he, a shepherd and a warrior and a king.”
New to the live broadcast is an overhead camera offering an aerial view of the production.
“We will be flying one of the cameras on our fly rig to get some really great aerial shots,” Miller said. “The show is just massive, from sets that are 40-feet high and all of the different animals that are on stage, and the cast. And we have Goliath and so many different spectacular scenes through the show. We’re really excited about the ability to get a different vantage point than any of us have actually ever seen during the show before from that fly rig which will be up in the ceiling.”
The streaming, with tickets available at Sight & Sound.TV, comes after the production opened in March 2021 on Sight & Sound’s Lancaster, Pa., stage. The live production has generated 700,000 ticket sales this year, Miller said.
“Whenever we produce a new show, whether people watch online or come in person,” Miller said, “our hope is to connect them back to Scripture and to inspire and encourage them.”
Sight & Sound, which launched in 1976 as a traveling multimedia show, has grown to include performance venues for live productions in Lancaster, Pa., and Branson, Mo., and a streaming television channel reaching homes in 175 countries. Sight & Sound has set its first ever theatrical release for December in cinemas nationwide.
“We’re very excited about the opportunity for live broadcasts because it extends the ministry beyond our four walls here. So to have the message of the show, have the Gospel go forth throughout the whole world is something that has become a really special part of what we do, and we’re incredibly grateful for God’s faithfulness as we continue to grow.”