In Community Theater and even in a few semi-pro or professional productions, the question is typically not "How good is the show going to be?" but "Will the actors know their lines by the time the opening night curtain goes up?"
This is why, whenever I direct anything, I always demand that my actors know all of their lines before rehearsals begin. This is because there's no easier way for an actor to sabotage his own performance and those of his fellow actors than by not knowing his lines.
If you know your lines, the work can begin. You can start to work on building a character, on responding in the moment, on energy and pacing. But absolutely nothing can happen if you're walking around at rehearsal reading from a script. Learning your lines is the sine qua non of acting. Sine qua non means "without which there is nothing" - without knowing your lines, nothing can happen.
In my recent post It's Not the Abuse Crisis - It's the Neglect Crisis, a few commenters have been offended at my casual assertion that the Catholic clergy are "predominantly homosexual". They have challenged me to provide evidence of that.
To begin with, there's the enormous anecdotal evidence - but this is no real proof, both because it's anecdotal, and also because most "gays" in the clergy are in the closet. But there are some real studies out there. There is the magnum opus of Randy Engel The Rite of Sodomy, now available in ebook format for only $10. There's also this shorter, but very well researched and documented paper by Dr. David Pence, The Erosion of Priestly Fraternity in the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis.
What we learn from Pence's paper is that fornication, adultery and sexual perversion were not only tolerated in the major seminary of St. Paul, but in fact encouraged and defended, presented as something normal and healthy. This has produced what you would expect - a majority of priests who are homosexual and sexually active, along with a minority of priests who are heterosexual and sexually active.
And this is no different than mounting a production without knowing your lines.
If a person attempts to be a Christian - and especially a priest of God - the sine qua non, the starting point, the "without which there is nothing" - is swearing off grave sin. You can no more lead others to God while you are freely engaging in grave sin than you can perform Hamlet by sneaking a peak at cue cards in the wings or the "To be or not to be" speech scrawled in ink like a cheat sheet on the backs of your hands.
This is the main reason that our Church is in a mess. Our priests and bishops have given themselves over to grave sin and are winking at one another (often from one pillow to another in bed) while they convince themselves that everything is all right. This is why bishops tolerate child molesters and put children in harm's way. They are so used to the deception and hidden pride that a secret devotion to sin engenders both in their hearts and in their community, that they become seriously corrupted, worm eaten and rotten to their very core - all the while smiling their benign smiles and looking neat and presentable in their clerical shirts and collars.
This infiltration of grave sin into the rectories and sacristies of the clergy is matched by the infiltration of grave sin into the living rooms and bedrooms of the laity. We have accepted, approved and even treasured the darkest of sins - and not just sexual sins like abortion, contraception and pornography, but also (for many of us) an excited vicarious love of Torture, a devotion to the glories of Lying, a lifestyle built on green and Unreality - and so on.
My spiritual director once said to me, "First, you've got to overcome committing mortal sins. Then we can start to work on making spiritual progress."
Nothing can be done on stage, in the Church or in life until you take the first step. And if we refuse to give up - or even acknowledge - our serious and deeply disturbing sins; if, in fact, we attempt to justify and take pride in our corrupt and despicable behavior, then that first step can never be taken.
Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel." - The first words of Jesus as recorded by St. Mark - (Mark 1:15). Note Our Lord's advice on how to begin at the beginning.