Blessed Assurance is the wonderful story of Fanny Crosby who lived a long and productive life. When she passed away she was only a few weeks shy of her 95th birthday. She was a strong and energetic woman…even in her later years. As an occupation during one period of her life she published three hymns a week. And, it was not uncommon for her to write six or seven hymns each week for a total of nearly 9000 in her lifetime.
She loved her friends and family (those portrayed in this musical) and was fond of getting together with them (as portrayed in this musical) and reminiscing about the “old days.” Together they sang the hymns that they composed together.
Through the use of a bit of poetic license it is a powerful story you will be sharing with your audience about one of America’s most precious treasures. The interaction between each character is extraordinary and the impact on your audience will be intense. Fanny’s songs are powerful and the lyrics give authenticity to an extraordinary story and the extraordinary lives of Fanny Crosby and her friends who changed so many lives through the hymns they composed for the glory of God.
Audiences loved singing or humming along with the familiar tunes in Blessed Assurance.
When performed in its entirety, Blessed Assurance - The Fanny Crosby Story is about 2 hours long.
Cast of Characters
Ira D. Sankey
Natalie "Natty" Tate
* Principle Character
THE USE OF A CHORUS
A chorus can be incorporated into this musical. Due to stage size, the original professional productions did not use a chorus. However, a chorus of virtually any size could be added to a number of the songs throughout the musical. It is possible that “others” could come on and off stage at appropriate times to add to the choral sound. The director of your production can use their imagination and perhaps “bring friends by” to join in a song occasionally.
If you do not have chorus members to add to the vocal numbers you will find that the a cappella numbers, sung in tune, are gorgeous without the use of a larger ensemble or choir. The audience will love hearing the rich harmonies so seldom realized in much of the modern religious church literature. Full-bodied orchestrations, in many of the songs, fill in the gaps and your show will not be negatively affected in any way. The “trick” of course is finding appropriate actors for each role who also have strong singing voices. We find that prayer before casting helps!
SET AND PROP REQUIREMENTS
As with all of our musicals, the sets can be very simple with only minimal scenery. The set for Blessed Assurance does not need to be complex. In the original production we obtained wicker patio furniture because it looked “period” and dressed the stage with various other props that gave us the authentic “turn of the last century” look we were after. In that production we chose to use a painted backdrop to give the audience a sense that we were in an outdoor woodsy area (in upstate New York). In your production you may wish to be somewhat more elaborate and replicate an actual porch with the outside wall of a “nicer” home as the back wall. More information, and dozens of other production helps, are all found in the DIRECTOR’S NOTES which come free as part of the Musical Production Kit designed especially for this musical. Sample pictures of sets used in the original production of this, and many other Gloria Emmerich musicals, can be found by going to the photo gallery on this website.