Joshua Carswell, who cut his entertainment teeth at Spiritual Twist Productions, will make a return to the Garner-based theater group for a special one-night concert on Aug. 22.
Carswell lives in Nashville, Tenn., now and does 70 to 80 shows a year. He often plays with the Annie Moses Band, but he will be doing his solo show at the Aversboro Road theater.
“Spirtiual Twist is where it all started for me,” Carswell said. “We had moved to Raleigh and I was interested in the theater. My father was a pastor (then at Capital City Church of God) and Spiritual Twist was a good fit.”
Spiritual Twist, named because many of its productions of classical shows are twisted to give a Biblical insight, gives children the opportunity to experience the performing and creative arts in a Christian context and as a way to do Christian ministry.
Spiritual Twist’s production of Phantom of the Opera, for example, emphasized a choice between good and evil. The group’s most recent production, “Out of the Woods,” was based on the Biblical book of Revelation and was performed to capacity audiences.
Carswell remembers being in the group’s productions of the Biblical books of Ruth and Esther, plus Phantom and Les Miserables and a Christmas Carol.
“I was at Neuse Christian Academy in Raleigh and we had a drama program, but Spiritual Twist appealed to me,” he said. “It was a very safe environment for me. I was in their shows for about two and a half years.
“I was really encouraged and supported there. It will be good to come back.”
Carswell majored in vocal performance at Elon University and became involved with the Annie Moses Band through its Fine Arts Summer Academy.
Carswell recently worked with Annie Moses on a PBS special – The Art of the Love Song – that will air in March 2016.
He also has a new album, Debonair. The album includes the song that he is best known for, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” along with several classic songs and a few new ones.
Carrie Sippy, Spiritual Twist’s coordinator of non-musical theater classes, said bringing Carswell back for the free concert is a delight.
“He had his start with us and he is now a professional artist,” Sippy said. “It will be good for all of the younger children to see how he is using his ability to glorify the Lord.”
Carswell will be a part of Spiritual Twist’s open house weekend. The group has been producing shows for 27 years.
Natalie Snapp started the program in Angier and it later moved to Colonial Baptist on Tryon Road. The theater started making its home in Garner two years ago.
A praise and worship service is planned for 7:30 p.m. on August 21. The next day there will be an open house with mini-classes and information beginning at 10 a.m., and continuing until 3 p.m.
Carswell is expected to sing from 4 p.m., until around 5:30 p.m.
The worship service and the concert are free, but guests are asked to reserve tickets on the website (spiritualtwist.com).
Spiritual Twist’s next production is scheduled to be “Through the Looking Glass” on Oct. 22-24.