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Blue Gate premieres new musical

The Blue Gate Theater in Shipshewana will stage the world premiere of their new musical, “Josiah for President,” beginning July 14 and running through December 13.

This musical, the third created by the Blue Gate, was adapted for the stage by its author, Martha Bolton. Bolton, who has written 87 books and worked for numerous comedians, also created the scripts for “Half-Stitched” and “The Confession.” Both are musical adaptations of bestselling novels that have had successful runs at The Blue Gate Theater.

“Josiah for President” tells the story of Pennsylvania Amish farmer Josiah Stoltzfus and his run for president of the United States. He is tapped as a write-in candidate by a former congressman who learned more from a visit with this simple Amish farmer than he did in his many years in office. The congressman decides that “someone with a little old-fashioned common sense, someone who's not afraid of rolling up his sleeves and getting his hands dirty” ought to be running the country.

Using his old campaign headquarters for a base, the congressman determines to introduce a new candidate to America – without Josiah’s consent or knowledge. But can a plain man of faith turn the tide of politics and become the leader of America, and what will he have to risk to do it?

Author Bolton wrote her first “book” at the age of 9. She has been a staff writer for Bob Hope and received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Music and Lyrics. She also has written for dozens of comedians and entertainers, including Phyllis Diller, Wayne Newton and Mark Lowry.  Possibly the most interesting credential for writing “Josiah” comes from the fact she’s also helped write speeches for several presidents.

The Blue Gate Theater is honored to host the premiere performance of this new musical, produced by Blue Gate Theater owner Mel Riegsecker and Dan Posthuma, with music by Wally Nason, who is also the director. The cast comes from across the United States, from Las Vegas to North Dakota to Virginia. Kyle Whitney, who also portrays Jan in “Half-Stitched,” is taking on the lead role of Josiah in his second season at The Blue Gate. Whitney is from Chicago, Ill.

Tickets for “Josiah for President” are on sale now by calling The Blue Gate Theater at 1-888-447-4725 or by visiting