RONKS, Pennsylvania – During a recent tour and screening of the new theatrical performance of "Samson" at the historic Lancaster County, Pennsylvania theater, Sight & Sound, lead actor Michael Niederer (Samson) emphasized the power of the elaborate production's overarching theme – grace.
"It's amazing because I've been able to use the gifts He gave me for His glory and for His benefit," Niederer told The Christian Post.
Born and raised in a Christian home and doing theater since he was 7-years-old, the talented actor is grateful that he is able to use his gifts full time for God. Niederer talked about his character Samson and what he felt was a popular miconception about the famous Bible figure's strength.
"It's important to note that Samson's strength came from God, it didn't come from his muscles. It came from the power of the Lord just moving in him and using Samson as a vessel essentially to deliver his people from the Philistines," he explained.
While the 26-year-old did not have to necessarily bulk up for the part, he still was required to put on some weight.
"Probably the biggest most radical change I've made in my life was my diet and my exercise plan. I put on 25 pounds since I got cast in the role," Niederer revealed. "I have to eat around 4,000 calories a day, 15 grams of protein a day. I eat about 5 meals a day."
He explained that he and his understudy train really hard with their individual personal trainers and that they're constantly eating all day.
With live animals involved, and things swinging from the ceiling, this Broadway-meets-Disney-World production was truly about God's redeeming grace.
"He accomplished more when he died than he did in his entire lifetime," Niederer said of Samson. "Jeff, the director, writer and producer of the show likes to say that [the production] is for the wayward and weary, but the biggest most important message of the show is about grace and God's grace for us."
"We are all sinners!" he continued. "None of us are perfect, the only perfect person ever was Jesus. We are all messed up, we all have our problems that we deal with, but God's grace is always there for us no matter what we do, no matter who we are, no matter where we go, it's always there."
Niederer echoed a great line in the show that says, "Grace isn't blind. It doesn't see good people or bad people, just people in need." He said that as soon as people recognize that they are in need of grace, that's when God shows up because in weakness He is at His strongest.
"If I could say anything to anybody, it's that God's grace is there for you no matter what you've done, no matter what you think you've done, no matter how bad a person you think you are, no matter how many mistakes you've made – God still loves you. God still wants to reach out to you. God still wants you. He still thirst for you. His grace is readily available for you," the musical performer added.
Sight & Sound's theater hosts 22,000 people a week with over 400 shows a year. The opportunity to reach 4,000 to 6,000 people in a day gives Niederer the energy that he needs to go out there and perform day after day because he is touching people's life.
"Yes, the temple collapse is awesome. Yes costumes are extraordinary, the special effects are great, talent is unreal but if people take one thing away, it's the message of grace. Yes we love to hear all those things about how cool Sight & Sound is but really at the end of the day, it's a business but we're also a ministry and we want to minister to people to bring the kingdom of God here on earth and that's really really important that people can leave this place recharged and feeling God's amazing grace for them."
"Even if we get one person to get to know God, we've done our job for that day," Niederer concluded.
Sight & Sound has been creating exciting experiences of storytelling for over 35 years using live animals, compelling actors and an interactive stage to retell biblical stories. To see the brand new biblical epic "Samson," or for more information, visit Sight-Sound.com