m a s t e r a r t s . o r g

Artaban is a magi, a wise man who is planning to travel to meet the new born Savior of Israel.  He sells all he has to purchase gifts for the King, but along the way gets delayed by various distractions demanding his attention.  Will he be able to find the child king and honor him with his gifts?  

With an original folk music score and encounters with Bible characters, SEEKING THE CHILD presents the nativity and gospel story in a new way that will seem both familiar and fresh to audiences of all ages.

Performances are:

November 30 - December 16, 2023

Thursday, Friday & Saturday evenings at 7:30 pm

Saturday matinees at 2:00 pm

Master Arts is excited to announce the cast and crew of


CAST (in order of appearance):

Shoshana, the Widow of Nain . . . Susie Finkbeiner

Elijah / Roman Soldier . . . Isaac Pazdur

Artaban . . . Jon Wilson

Abgarus . . . Dan Harrington

Abdus . . . Dan Braker

Rhodaspes / Roman Soldier . . . B. Mackenzie Thiel

Tigranes / Diana . . . Alexa Eckl

Helene . . . Lisa Chevalia

Traveller . . . Kahrynn Aaliyah

Ruth . . . Christine Spiller

Sharon . . . Therese Zimmer

Esther . . . Esther Nijsse

Captain Longinus . . . Matt Kelly

Roman Soldier . . . Jason VandyBogurt

John the Baptist . . . Sam Wilson

Hannah . . . Lavender Gunderman


Director . . . Timothy Van Bruggen

Assistant Director . . . Becky Suttner

Set Builder . . . Richard Patterson

Set Paintings . . . Emmalyn Burri, Shaye Wilson

Lead Costumer . . . Tamara Posthuma

Assistant Costumers . . . Rae Kruithof, Marcy Bright


Instrumental Lead / Cello / Guitar . . . Tyler Suttner

Vocal Coach . . . Christine Spiller

Percussion . . . Richard Patterson

Violin . . . Molly VanderWest

Guitar . . . Sam Wilson


(In order of appearance)

Isaac Pazdur (Elijah / Roman Soldier)

Isaac was last on the Master Arts stage in the majestic role of Aslan in the youth production of The Magician's Nephew. For this show, he values the collaborative spirit, finding joy in working together and creating something meaningful. Additionally, he appreciated including Bible study in the rehearsals, adding a thoughtful dimension to the creative process.

“This play shows us a man who feeds the hungry, cared for the sick, visited those in prison, and more for his Savior. We have been given a responsibility to do the same. Artaban provides an example of a commitment to Jesus that sacrifices all to serve, just like Jesus himself did. We can all learn something from that I think.”

Susie Finkbeiner (Shoshana, the Widow of Nain)

Susie showcased her acting talent to the Master Arts audience with her performance as Gertrude in Hamlet. She has graced other stages as Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music and assumed the regal role of the Queen in Cinderella. Beyond the stage, Susie displays another facet of her creativity as a published author. If you want to know more about her work, visit her website: susiefinkbeiner.com

Jon Wilson (Artaban)

Jon is certainly no stranger at Master Arts, having delivered compelling performances in Hamlet, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and The Singer, as well as in Homeschool Performing Arts' production of Mary Poppins. He also demonstrated his directorial skills for Over the River and Through the Woods at Master Arts. Beyond the stage, he hosts the podcast Artists of the Way. He is also currently working on directing/producing Godspell. You can learn more at www.artistsoftheway.com/godspell.html.

“Stepping into Artaban's struggle has been a wonderful experience. You'll have to wait to see how it turns out, but his experience with God is quite different from my own, but similar to many people I know, so it has been cool to step into that journey. Keep seeking God's face. The more you honor God, the more he shapes you into who you were fully created to be.

Also, come see Godspell.

Soli Deo Gloria.”

Dan Harrington (Abgarus)

Dan is making his Master Arts Theatre debut! His theatrical journey includes performances in Arsenic and Old Lace and Welcome to Mitford at Holland Community Theater. Dan's talent also shines through various roles at TrueJem Productions such as Cotton Patch Gospel, Fiddler on the Roof, Jesus Christ Superstar, Seussical the Musical, The Little Mermaid, and Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Dan Braker (Abdus)

Welcome to the Master Arts Theatre stage, Dan! Dan's theatrical journey unfolded through various productions, including collaborations with Thornapple Players in Hastings, the Revue in Nashville, Julesong Studios in Woodland, and Portland Civic Players. His talents extend to music, and he has contributed to numerous pit orchestras where he showcased his skill on the French Horn.

“Thank you for coming and Merry Christmas!”

B. Mackenzie Thiel (Rhodaspes / Roman Soldier)

Brenden has made several appearances on the Master Arts stage, embodying characters such as St. John Rivers in Jane Eyre, Rev. Hale in The Crucible and taking on roles in both A Christmas Carol and Around the World in 80 Days. He enjoys the experience of sharing the stage with his friends, finding joy in collaborative theatrical endeavors.

“Crazy? I was crazy once…”

Alexa Eckl (Tigranes / Diana)

Alexa last graced the Master Arts stage in productions such as The Singer, Man of La Mancha, and Fiddler on the Roof. In addition to her acting skill, for this show she also took on the role of choreographer, adding her creative touch to the production.

Lisa Chevalia (Helene)

Lisa has been in several Master Arts shows, recently exhibiting her talent with performances in Hamlet and The Crucible.  Lisa is also serving as treasurer on the Master Arts' Board of Directors.

Kahrynn Aaliyah  (Traveller / Machlah)

Kahrynn recently showcased their talent at Master Arts in both Hamlet and The Crucible. They also were in  Holland Community Theatre's productions of Sweat and The First Juneteenth. Additionally, they played a role in Kellogg CC's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Their passion lies in collaborating with a dedicated and thoughtful group of people.

Kahrynn is an artist at heart who has a passion for music and theater. They love to spend quality time with animals, nature, and friends. They also value community involvement and getting to know and work with people from all backgrounds.

Christine Spiller (Ruth)

Christine is making her Master Arts Theatre debut! Her journey spans various performances at GVSU from 2015-2019, with diverse roles in both opera and musical productions. She portrayed Aunt Eller in Oklahoma! in 2018 and contributed to Pirates of Penzance in 2021 as part of the chorus. Christine's vocal prowess also shone through as a soloist in Handel's music and with the choral society of Grand Rapids. In Seeking the Child, she plays the dual role of actor and vocal coach. She welcomes you to experience a vignette of life during Christ's time.

“My favorite thing about this show is that Tim gave me the opportunity to write a song for the women's scene. It's so exciting to share my music for the first time with an audience!”

Therese Zimmer (Sharon)

Therese last graced the Master Arts stage in her role as Mrs. Cratchit in A Christmas Carol last year. Additionally, she has contributed her skills backstage in various productions.

Esther Nijsse (Esther)

Esther last exhibited their talent at Master Arts in the heartwarming production of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarted. Her passion for the stage extends beyond, as she has worn many hats in small theater productions within her homeschool group, whether as an actor, a set designer, a backstage crew member, and an assistant director. She was also a student in the stage acting class at the Lamplighter Guild.

Matt Kelly (Captain Longinus)

Matt was recently on the Master Arts stage in All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. In Seeking the Child he has enjoyed crafting character through Bible study, adding depth to his performance.

“I love seeing theater come to life.”

Jason VandyBogurt (Roman Soldier)

Jason delivered captivating performances in his most recent appearances at MAT, enchanting audiences in both A Christmas Carol and Life Derailed.

Sam Wilson (John the Baptist / Pit)

Sam, a seasoned performer, showcased his acting ability in Master Arts's productions of Hamlet, Over the River and Through the Woods, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, among others. He has also performed with Homeschool Performing Arts, lending his talents to their production of Beauty and the Beast. In this show, Sam found joy in a different facet of performance with the opportunity to play in a pit.

“If you eat 10 million bananas at one time you will die of radiation poisoning.”

Lavender Sky (Hannah)

Lavender recently graced the MAT stage in compelling performances in both "The Crucible" and "A Christmas Carol." She enjoys collaborating with this cast.

“God bless you and happy holidays.”


Here's a list of all the music that plays before the show and during intermission . . .

A Flame of Gold / Prayer for Protection, by Gavin Marwick & Aaron Jones

We Three Kings, by Marion Meadows

Psalm 126, by Drew Miller

I Wonder As I Wander, by Joanne Hogg

Ring Ring, by Stuart Jones

A Glory Beheld, by Jeff Johnson, Brian Dunning & John Fitzpatrick

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen, by Loreena McKennitt

Crying For The Word, by Eden's Bridge

We Follow A Star, by Jeff Johnson & Brian Dunning

Upon Your Destiny, by Leah

Barocha (Numbers), by Eden's Bridge

The Lord Bless You, by Jeff Johnson

SEEKING THE CHILD is produced by permission from Bridgekeepers Studio.