The hit Amish musical based on Beverly Lewis’ bestselling novel, The Confession, which is currently playing to record audiences at The Blue Gate Theater in Shipshewana, officially reached its 200th performance on May 23.
Word of the musical has been spreading, evidenced by increased tourism to the Shipshewana area. “At each performance, well over half of the audience is new customers for the theater,” stated Andrew Rohrer, director of marketing for The Blue Gate. “We are setting new ticket sales records weekly.” “The Confession” premiered in Shipshewana in 2010 and the event was attended by Beverly Lewis, Gloria Gaither, the entire production team of “The Confession,” and many other notables, both local and national. A movie version of the story, entitled “The Shunning,” debuted on the Hallmark Channel to an audience of 2.9 million viewers. A second movie is in the works.
Executive producer of “The Confession” is Mel Riegsecker and the musical is produced by Dan Posthuma. The script/libretto is written by Emmy-nominated and Dove-nominated writer Martha Bolton and the music is composed by Wally Nason, who also produces the Miss Arizona Beauty Pageant.
The musical is also playing in the Lancaster, Penn., area through November and in Holmes County, Ohio June through December. The musical is gaining the attention of other theaters as well. Mel Riegsecker and Dan Posthuma are currently in talks with theater owners in New York and elsewhere regarding bringing the musical to their venues.
“The Confession,” which some have compared to “Oklahoma!” and “Plain and Fancy,” is being overwhelmingly received by audience members of all faiths, some coming from as far away as Australia and England.