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Local actors will present powerful drama

By Staff | Jun 6, 2012

Photo by Jonay Corley The Sistersville Community Players will present “The Amish Project” at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at Fox’s Business & Activity Center. To promote the production, Belle Camerlin and Morgan Fox took to the streets in costume. They are pictured above with Director Lisa Fox.

This Friday and Saturday, the Sistersville Community Players will present “The Amish Project” by Jessica Dickey at 7 p.m. at Fox’s Business & Activity Center.

The gripping theatrical productions depicts the horrific real-life events that unfolded in a one-room, Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster County, Pa. on Oct. 2, 2006. “On that day, a 30-year old man walked into the school and opened fired, killing five girls and himself.” explained Lisa Fox, the play’s director. “It’s a powerful drama.”

In a decision that shocked the world, the Amish community forgave the crime of the gunman, and offered aide to his grieving widow. This real-life series of events was the inspiration for Jessica Dickey’s fictional exploration of the Nickel Mines schoolhouse shooting, and the path of forgiveness and compassion forged in the wake of the violence. Titled “The Amish Project,” the play made its original debut at the New York International Fringe Festival in the summer of 2008 and instantly generated buzz in the theatre community. The Amish Project went on to a workshop production at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York City, and on June 10, 2009, officially opened Off-Broadway at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater to rave reviews. Due to its success, the run was extended.

Since then, The Amish Project has been invited to perform in venues around the ti-state area, and interest continues to grow. In an effort to bring this story to the local stage, the Sistersville Community Theater players have been diligently preparing. The cast includes Belle Camerlin, Brittany Weekley, Josh Pelican, Jasmine Kyle, Brandon Collins, Abby Attikinson and Morgan Fox.

Pelican, who plays the part of gunman Edward Stuckey commented, “This particular character is much unlike any other I have ever played, ever. Every line that I deliver, I feel so into the character, that a chill runs up my spin, every word.”

Weekley, who portrays the gunman’s wife, Carol Stuckey, said, “It is the toughest role that I have ever done. She is a very emotional and intense character. Raw emotion, real emotion.”

General admission is $8 per person. A limited number of balcony seats are available at a cost of $10 per person. Fox noted the production is rated PG-13.