Members of First Reformed Church in Orange City will present a musical based on the story of Dutch Holocaust survivor Corrie ten Boom Aug. 18, 19 and 20 at 7 p.m. and Aug. 21 at 2 p.m. in the church’s sanctuary.
This will be the second public performance of “ten Boom, the musical,” which was written by Susan Meredith Beyer and Donna Marquean Griggs, based on the book “The Hiding Place” by ten Boom and Elizabeth and John Sherrill. It was first staged by Grace Christian School in Bennington, Vt., in 2014.
There is no charge for admission to the musical but a free-will offering will be collected for a ministry to refugees by Samaritan’s Purse and for the church’s Project 78 facility addition, which will be dedicated that weekend. A dinner theatre on Aug. 20 at 5:30 p.m. will feature a meal in the church’s new multi-purpose area prepared by Home Plate Catering, followed by prime seats at that evening’s performance. Tickets for the dinner theatre are $15 and are available at the First Reformed Church office.
The musical dramatizes the story of ten Boom, who lived a peaceful life with her family above their watch shop in Haarlem, the Netherlands, until the Nazis invaded their homeland during World War II. Devout Christians, the ten Booms undertook a dangerous mission to hide more than 800 Jews. Corrie and other members of her family joined the resistance and were later arrested and taken to prison, where many of them died. She survived three concentration camps and went on to author many books.
“The story of the ten Booms’ courage and faith has touched my heart for years, and living in a community of Dutch heritage, there’s an added connection,” says Tom Hydeen, the church’s facilitator in prayer, calling and worship, and the music director for the performances. “The ten Booms did what was right and still ended up in prison. Yet even there they saw God at work. He didn’t abandon them. One of the key messages from the musical is that God can be trusted in spite of devastating circumstances.”
Leanne Bonnecroy, director of children’s ministries at First Reformed Church, is serving as stage director of “ten Boom, the musical.” The cast includes over 50 church members, many of whom have had roles in Orange City Tulip Festival night shows and other area productions.
The musical’s script and music were written by Beyer and Griggs, sisters who began the work in 1985, completed it in 1997 and oversaw the recording of its soundtrack in 2010. Beyer, of Nashville, sang for four years with Grand Ole Opry member Whisperin’ Bill Anderson and was a TV talk show host and producer. Griggs, a businesswoman in Fort Worth, Texas, also has used her musical talents over the years for community events and church productions.
For more information about the musical, contact First Reformed Church at 712-737-4909 or firstname.lastname@example.org.