By Sarah Beth Costello
May 23, 2009
In 1940, German troops invaded the Netherlands and secured bans and new laws that placed Jews and other individuals in danger. Millions of Jews were brutally murdered during Adolf Hitler’s reign, a time in history many wish could be forgotten.
Despite the fact this time was dark and tragic, many stories emerged of hope and forgiveness. One such story involved the ten Booms, a family who risked their own safety, security and lives to hide Dutch Jews in their watch shop in Amsterdam, Holland.
Corrie ten Boom later wrote the book, “The Hiding Place” describing the secret room built to hide their Jewish guests and the many events, including the arrests of the ten Boom family, the death of their father, Casper, and the tragedies and miracles that followed.
This book has been written as a script and will be performed by the Arts Alive senior acting class at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Paramount Theater, 128 E. Front St., Burlington. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.
“I’ve always loved ‘The Hiding Place,’ ” said Erin Tate, who is playing the part of Corrie. “I’d read the book several times and have always admired (Corrie) and I was really happy for the opportunity to portray her on stage.”
Although the play is serious and sad at times, the message is powerful.
Corrie and her sister Betsie were eventually sent to Ravensbrück, a women’s concentration camp in northern Germany. But despite the filth, lice and utter discouragement of the camp, the ten Boom sisters continued to cling to God.
“There is no pit is so deep that He is not deeper still,” said Betsie during a time when Corrie was struggling with hate and anger.
“Corrie begins and ends the play with the line ‘love is greater,’ ” Tate said. “I think that’s really important no matter what time period you’re in if you have the love of Christ. God’s love is universal and it’s needed just as much in today’s culture as it was in Nazi Germany.”
Arts Alive is down to the final weeks before opening night and the students and staff are busy with last-minute preparations
“This is the first production that I’ve helped direct,” said executive manager Jordan Cubino who is a former Arts Alive acting student. “(Productions are) always a learning experience. It’s interesting seeing the ‘Hiding Place’ from an actor’s perspective and returning to see it from a director’s perspective.”
The performances at Arts Alive are more than entertainment venues. The students, directors and staff hope to encourage and challenge theatergoers while presenting a clear gospel message through the arts.
Sarah Costello is a junior at Elon University and a Teens & 20s writer.