BY MELINDA WILLIAMS
Clipper Staff Writer
SALT LAKE CITY – Being a part of the “Savior of the World,” production has become an integral part of the Christmas season for the Grant Barton family.
Barton, a Layton resident, and his daughter Emma, have had roles in the LDS-produced musical for six years and both plan on continuing the tradition.
“To celebrate (Jesus’) birth and resurrection in this way and to share our testimony is something unique and important to us,”Barton said.
This year’s “Savior of the World” production runs from Nov. 19 through Dec. 28 at the LDS Conference Center. The production will run Tuesdays through Fridays at 7:30 p.m. and on Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 for the evening shows and $5 for matinees, and are available at lds.org, or by calling 801-570-0080. They are also available at the Conference Center ticket office, which is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The play is a sacred musical drama depicting events surrounding the Savior’s life and his divine mission as the savior and redeemer of the world, according to lds.org.
There are 38 musical numbers, including vocal solos, choruses, and instrumental underscores.
In this year’s production, Barton plays the angel who appears to Joseph to comfort him as Joseph learns Mary is with child.
“It’s kind of a pivotal role,” Barton said. “He tells Joseph go ahead and marry Mary and tells him to name the child Jesus, which, of course, is the name that Mary’s been given.”
Being in the play has given Barton a greater perspective into the lives of the people involved with Jesus and personally, “It’s given me a greater appreciation of the Savior and his life.”
“I certainly feel the presence of the spirit,” Barton said, and his participation allows him to witness more fully that “what we are professing is true.”
Emma Barton, now 13, is part of the ensemble, that is the angels represented on the colonnade. She also portrays one of the townspeople, and near the end of the play portrays one of the resurrected beings.
“There’s not a lot of speaking roles for girls her age,” Barton said.
However, four years ago she portrayed Anna, Mary’s younger sister.
While it’s not a major role, it fits in well with one of the themes of the production С that of family and their importance, Barton said.
In “Savior of the World,” both Mary and Joseph’s families are featured, bringing in their cousins, siblings and parents, Barton said.
The play opens with Mary’s cousin Elizabeth and her husband Zacharias, “and we see the family’s relationship there,” Barton said.
Emma has set her hopes on one day playing Mary, mother of Jesus.
Performers for the annual production come from all over northern Utah. Nearly two-thirds of those involved are from Davis County, according to the play’s producer Jay Clark, who also lives in Davis County.