LIHUE — Pastor Steve Franks pulls no punches as he describes “Living Dead,” being put on tonight and tomorrow by King’s Chapel, the church he leads.
“It’s not going to be churchy, but it’s going to be very aggressive.”
“It is going to be disturbing, and that’s on purpose.”
“We’re not Christianizing it. It’s hard-hitting and straightforward.”
And finally, he said this:
“If a Christian walks in and thinks it’s a Christian thing, they’re probably going to be offended.”
“Living Dead” is delivering a stark message about drug and alcohol addictions and suicide, things that must be talked about, Franks said.
It will do that with music, video, lights, dancing and words in 15-minute shows every 30 minutes from 6:30 to 8:30 tonight and 5:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday at Kukui Grove Center, in the old Zales location.
A cast of 25, middle-schoolers to young adults, will present the free program that is ultimately aimed at saving lives, both physically and spiritually.
The show will have actors playing dead celebrities who died of overdose or suicide coming to life, even if just for a few seconds, “to let us know what we need to change,” Franks said.
Steve’s wife, Victoria Franks, said, “This is not your normal Halloween show. Our whole premise is completely different.”
“Living Dead” goes beyond raising awareness of the problems with drugs and alcohol.
“This is like, hit you in the face with ‘This is reality.’ This is what happens when you go to that,” she said.
Co-director Ari Franks, Steve and Victoria’s daughter, said drugs, alcohol and suicide must not be normalized.
People need to know they are not alone, and that everyone has issues and faces problems. It’s how they deal with them that is critical, she said.
“There are options,” Ari Franks said. “There are ways of getting out, as long as you’re looking for it.”
King’s Chapel put on a similar program last year on Kauai, and on Maui in years past put on what was called “Hell House.”
This year, Steve Franks referred to it as “a hard-hitting reality show” with a PG-13 rating that might not be suitable for younger children.
It’s necessary to take a tough approach, he said, because so many lives have been lost to drugs and alcohol, and so many have lost hope and taken their own lives.
King’s Chapel wants to step in and show a better way, and it wants to encourage each person to be the one who says, “Don’t do that,” or “Don’t use this stuff.”
If someone had said “no” when a person was considering drugs, alcohol or suicide, others might be alive, Steve Franks said.
“It’s a hard-hitting, head-on, very aggressive stance we’re taking on that,” he said.
Bill Buley, editor-in-chief, can be reached at 245-0457 or email@example.com.