"Cemetery Celebration featuring Jesus and His 12 Homeboys"
Volunteers rehearse for a dinner scene, featuring Jesus and his 12 homeboys, in an upcoming production of "Cemetery Celebration." (SUBMITTED)

Playwright Cindy Stawbridge has a message to share with Yorkers, and she has some unusual aids - a hearse, a prostitute and a homeless person - to help deliver it.

"It's about unity and community," Strawbridge said.

Stawbridge and husband Jonathan Strawbridge have partnered with a group of volunteers from the community to bring an interactive play to York that asks the audience, "What would you do if you were at Christ's funeral?"

"Cemetery Celebration featuring Jesus and His 12 Homeboys," brings together leaders in a variety of denominations to tackle everyday issues that York County youth and adults face, Cindy Strawbridge said.

Coming together: "It's not about race, religion, class or any of that," she said.

Cemetery Cindy Strawbridge
Playwright Cindy Strawbridge said, as part of the interactive play, blessings would be offered. (SUBMITTED)
"We can all come together. We're better together - where there's unity, there's strength."

The play features different scenes set in the present day that deal with issues that resonate throughout York and beyond, according to Strawbridge. For instance, there are vignettes with a person who is dealing with being homeless, a single mother struggling to raise a child alone and other contemporary scenes. She said the play asks, "What if you met Christ on these streets?"

"There's a biblical aspect that's at the root of it, yes," Strawbridge said. "But the message is for everyone - it's about grace, forgiveness, mercy and redemption."

'Big production': Strawbridge and her husband have produced similar plays in the past, but never one of this size, she said.

"It's a big production: There's a casket, we have a hearse there, there's a crucifixion scene and a funeral service," she said. "The pallbearers will take the casket in a mausoleum and Jesus will be resurrected."

Typically, she said, 400 to 500 people attend the group's plays. She said she has already received more than 800 orders for tickets for the two nights the play will be offered.

"It's not about the money - it's never about the money," Strawbridge said.

Cemetery Celebration York Pa
"Cemetery Celebration featuring Jesus and His 12 Homeboys," will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday, April 11, and 6 p.m. Sunday, April 13, at William Penn Senior High School. (SUBMITTED)
"It's about winning the lost at all cost."

Reaching out: She said if the message her plays send reach one person - someone who may feel hopeless, lost or desperate - then it is worth all the money she spends helping to produce the shows.

Proceeds from the ticket sales are used to help address the needs of various groups and people in the community, Stawbridge said.

"We can come together, York City," she said. "We're in a new day."

The show will be presented at 7 p.m. Friday, April 11, and at 6 p.m. Sunday, April 13, at William Penn Senior High School, 101 W. College Ave., York.

Tickets are $5. For more information, call 717-968-6011 or visit www.destined2beproductions.ticketleap.com.

See the show

"Cemetery Celebration featuring Jesus and His 12 Homeboys," will be presented at 7 p.m. Friday, April 11, and at 6 p.m. Sunday, April 13, at William Penn Senior High School, 101 W. College Ave., York.

Tickets: $5. Information: 717-968-6011 or www.destined2beproductions.ticketleap.com.