Assembly Dramas:They were so bad.... but.... you waited for them to break away from the monotony!
I just remember as a pre-teen child just how insanely long & boring the sessions were. It didn't help having parents that were zealots - no drawing pictures - no sweets or drinks allowed - even going out to the toilet was forbidden ( though when my sister weed herself after pleading for ages to be let out , my parents slightly relented on that one ). If you went to sleep you would get a sharp elbow in the ribs or physically shaken to wake up. Even as a JW child well used to long , tedious meetings where you had to zone out to survive , a 4 or more hour assembly session on an uncomfortable hard plastic seat was purgatory.
So in that context - the dramas were like manna from heaven. Yes -the acting was chronic , with a standard that would embarrass a children's nativity play and fake beards and silly exaggerated gestures with arms flailing around wildly. Hearing Noah or Abraham speaking American English ( to a British audience ) was ridiculous. But it was a thankful distraction. And back then the dramas , even the "modern day" ones , did at least bear some similarity to bible accounts - in fact , you could occasionally even follow along in the bible. Nowadays the Society have basically chucked the bible out of the window and make it up as they go along.
I found this photo on Pinterest which shows exactly what was served at our summer conventions in Cicero,Illinois. Here,you have your food tickets,danish,Shasta soda,pudding cup,fruit bag,and your ''hoagie sandwich.'' Can someone tell me what the sandwich left of the sub sandwich is? It looks like an Arbie's roast beef sandwich but don't recall ever seeing one at our summer conventions!
Oh yeah, in the last few years of food service, they had roast beef sandwiches, at least in some locations.
It was always the first thing to "sell out".
The O/P spoke of sweltering heat... In the U K it was more likely to be cold and rain...I can recall at least one drama when the actors were miming to their tape in wet mud and sloshing rain... Happy days!
If you think it was bad to watch just try and be IN one of these productions. Your whole Summer was lost to endless rehearsals and the stress level was enormous. I mean, most amateur dramatics are to a fairly small audience but here you were out before ten or twenty thousand or more. I got roped in more than once and we got quite tetchy to each other by the day...
But I say this, I would rather watch a live drama than a modern video on a screen...any day!
They were a great distraction from the boring talks....today's videos do not measure up...
This brought memories of my childhood when we would camp at the assembly...poor family with too mang kids, could not afford a hotel...parents were always bickering about something...and getting dressed on a hot summer morning/getting dresses ironed in a tent and then sit all day in the sweltering heat whilst our school peers were probably having fun somewhere by a lake...that was not fun :)
Dozy, I think we had the same parents!
8 days of blistering heat in the afternoon yet freezing early morn and at night. I was not allowed to sleep either.
I remember the hideous echo in the ball parks. Everyone sitting there nodding but not understanding a word.
Does anyone else remember the HOT pastrami on onion roll sandwiches in the 60's? The ice cream in a cup with wooden spoon? and SNOW CONES? YUMMMM The only things that made the sitting marathon bearable!
At one assembly I was at, there were tennis courts adjacent to the stadium the that you could see from your seats and still look as if you were looking at the stage and were paying attention. The players were only a speck in the distance but watching the matches broke up the monotony of being at the assembly. A couple of the players decided they'd create a little drama of their own by playing a set naked just to shake things up for the religious nuts at the stadium. It was hilarious to hear the murmuring of the crowd rise to a crescendo and to see all the righteous JW's with binoculars straining to get a better look.
Sir82: To this day I would obscenely overpay for a breakfast of a cheese danish, a bagel with squeeze-out-of-the-tube cream cheese, and a semi-frozen slushy orange juice.
Sounds great, but it would give me a weird deju vu trip down memory lane.
I was in one of those dramas back in the 1960s. The sound was all pre recorded for us to mime to, and being English, I thought it was really cool walking out on stage miming to the dulcet tones of that American sister's gorgeous voice. I have never sounded so good before or since lol.