World War II Resistance Drama returns

things-we-couldnt-say

Local group to perform readers theater rendition of Things We Couldn’t Say

Orange City, IA, June 9, 2016– A story that thrilled local audiences two decades ago will return to the Knight Center at Unity Christian High, Orange City, when a group of local actors will perform the readers theater version of Things We Couldn’t Say.

The story of Diet Eman, a Holocaust survivor and resistance fighter in the Netherlands during the Nazi occupation, is basically a love story set against the great human tragedy of World War II. A quarter century ago Ms. Eman sought the services of Alton writer James Schaap to help her write her story. Things We Couldn’t Say has thousands of beloved readers around the world and has been published in several versions and languages.

When the book was published in 1994, Schaap wrote the script, and the play was performed locally and nationally. Ms. Eman visited many area schools back then to tell her story of intrigue and danger, of courage and faith.

Janie Van Dyke, who is directing the performance, was herself part of some of those performances twenty years ago. Van Dyke, who teaches English at Unity, chose to do Things We Couldn’t Say as an experiment because she knew the script could be done without major costuming requirements or elaborate stage design.

“The story is so powerful,” Van Dyke says, “that we still have trouble not getting emotional just reading through it.” She has her own designs on a summer theater program at the Knight Center. “I felt it was important for this first attempt to do something really good and relatively easy to produce.”

James Schaap plays a minor role in the production, introducing the story before Diet Eman (Leanne Bonnekroy) begins to tell it. Soon, Diet’s own younger self (Teresa Ter Haar) appears, along with Hein Sietsma (Jason Alons), the resistance fighter she’d planned to marry. Greg Steggerda and Tom Hydeen play Nazi officials and guards.

Van Dyke is not the only member of the cast to return to the script. Teresa Ter Haar, who teaches theater at Dordt, was a member of the first cast back in 1994, when she was a senior at Calvin College, Grand Rapids Michigan. “It’s quite amazing how much more I feel the story today, now that I’m older,” she says.

Performances are scheduled at 7:30, for Friday, June 24, and Saturday, June 25, at the Knight Center. General admission is $5.00. The intensity of the Eman story makes it wise not to take small children.

# # #

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Janie Van Dyke at 712 441 3228 or email at jvandyke@unity.pvt.k12.ia.us; alternatively, you may contact James Schaap at 712 441 1125 or email at jschaap@dordt.edu.