‘The Hiding Place’ a tale of Holocaust forgiveness

Wetaskiwin’s Water Works Players performing tale of Dutch family’s sacrifice

Wetaskiwin’s Water Works Players have a heartbreaking and uplifting story coming up soon at the Manluk Theatre.

The acting troupe is putting on “The Hiding Place,” directed by Miranda Hamer, the true story of Corrie Ten Boom, a Dutch woman whose family risked their lives to hide Jews in German-occupied Holland during World War II.

The Ten Boom family was betrayed by another Dutch person, and the family was sent to a concentration camp.

Hamer said, through a simple mistake, Corrie was released from the camp, but her sister, father and other women of the same age were all put to death by Nazi Germany.

Pretty serious fare, the story was based on a book and has also been made into a movie.

Hamer said she wanted to do a deep, serious story that she is passionate about as she’s been engaged as youth director for a while, and has done some great shows that were more lighthearted and humorous. She said the Water Works Players have embraced the heartbreaking and uplifting nature of “The Hiding Place,” delving deeply into their characters, the story and what Hamer says is the single biggest theme of the story.

“Forgiveness,” she said, “It’s all about faith and forgiveness.”

Hamer said she grew up knowing about this story, and it was well-known in her home as a story of forgiveness and helping those most in need who can’t help themselves.

The story begins with the Ten Boom family of watchmakers celebrating the 100th anniversary of their business. Then the war starts, and normal, everyday people find themselves doing very extraordinary things.

“Heroes are made little by little… ‘I can’t stand by and watch this,’” said Hamer.

With a nod to the World War II setting, Hamer said opening night will be Veteran’s Night, where war veterans are encouraged to wear their uniforms. “I would love it if there were so many uniforms in the audience,” said Hamer.

Demand for tickets has already been high. Hamer said an extra show was added on Nov. 23 at 7:30 p.m., and she’s already had three Jewish groups contacting her about the show.

To make things even better, Hamer noted the Manluk Theatre has agreed to dedicate one-third of the Nov. 23 show’s box office receipts to both veterans in need and Jewish Holocaust survivors in need organizations.

The director noted that those attending should expect an emotional experience; bring lots of tissues.

“The Hiding Place” tickets are currently on sale for $22. Performances are Nov. 8 to 10 and 15 to 17, plus the 23rd. Check online at www.manluktheatre.com, phone 780-352-8383 or drop by Dalcon Visual Arts at 4915 50th Street.

Stu.salkeld@pipestoneflyer.ca

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