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YC Founder/Director Matt Kramer is also the composer, producer, and writer of all You Connection material, for both media and theatre.

 

The YouVerse is a set of creative guidelines based on Matt's singular creative style that gives You Connection a unique look and feel, and a trademark artistic vision, similar to auteurism.

This makes You Connection a one-of-a-kind, self-contained world of deep theology and wild theatrics, with recurring plot devices, character types, visual styles, and more.

At You Connection, we believe in using the gift of creativity to glorify God, the "author and finisher of our faith" (Heb. 12:2), the True Auteur! And we believe that the classic genres and traditions of the arts can be powerfully used to minister the Gospel. Matt's unique creative style, brought to life by a brilliant performing team, continues to carry the Gospel into the often-neglected world of arts and culture.

The Christian is the one whose imagination should fly beyond the stars.

- Francis Schaeffer

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strange or ironic character names

exaggerated characters (comic book-style with distinct looks and specific personalities)

villains who personify biblical aspects of evil or negative worldly norms

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Victorian/Steampunk elements

mixed or jumbled time periods

pantomime imagery (harlequins, commedia dell'arte, theatre setting, etc.)

surreal or abstract environments that are whimsical and non sequitur in nature

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godly heroes having to stand in an unbelieving world

overcoming and conquering

going from captivity to freedom (Isaiah 61:1)

open-ended endings (true to real life and the real nature of the spiritual world, evil is defeated but not always destroyed, heroes sometimes have moral victories rather than physical ones, etc.)

characters are very frequently stuck (in dramatic ways, like being stuck in dark, hostile, or threatening environments and fighting for freedom; or in funny ways- getting stuck in packages, or entangled in other messes); a captivity-and-freedom reference, going from stuck to unstuck, or desiring to be set free

multi-leveled stories (principles, concepts, and cultural references that will be understood by a variety of ages from youth to adult)

musicals often include a modern version of a classic hymn

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the red-covered Bible (appears in nearly all YC stage and screen productions)

the cross

kneeling (in prayer, in humility, or while discovering God)

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streamlined/minimalist productions (with focus on character and content rather than sets, size, or budget)

use of didactic art- using arts to instruct, inform, and enlighten audiences

pulls from European-style cinema and theatre (artistically non-traditional, emotionally driven, lyrical pacing, etc.)

heavy use of classical arts (pantomime, old theatre, classic film, literature) and classic genres

MEDIA:

elements of experimental film/non-traditional filmmaking

jangly, loose editing & non sequitur pacing

simplistic camera work (master shots, single shots, handheld)

THEATRE:

experimental, musical, immersive, and interactive theatre combined into one

the Brechtian technique- simple sets, characters mingling with the audience, using theatre for social (or theological) use, incorporating music and songs, etc.

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Jesus Christ is, essentially, the answer, solution, or plot resolution in every story

All scripts adhere to a "theatrical apologetics" format- presenting, explaining, and defending the Gospel, while also presenting the secular viewpoint and exploiting why such viewpoints are contrary to faith in Christ

The spiritual battle depicted in Ephesians 6:10-20 is often a recurring theme

Difficult or challenging topics (such as "why does a loving God allow bad things to happen", ungodly cultural norms, or other frequently challenging theological themes) often appear in YC plots or subplots

Bible passages or biblical principles are often brought to life in symbolized form (such as 1 Corinthians 1: 18, "The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing" being symbolized as an insane asylum where followers of Christ are literally institutionalized, in Escape from the Grand Guignol)

Scripture is frequently quoted in dialogue and in song lyrics

All scripts adhere to the Bible as the accurate, unchanging Word of God

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