HSU Theatre Presents “The Amish Project”

April 11, 2019 Ashlyn Schulle, Staff Writer

(ABILENE, Texas)—HSU Theatre is performing the play “The Amish Project” from April 10-13 at 7:30 PM in Van Ellis Theatre. The cost of admission is $10 for the general public, $5 for military, seniors, and students, and free to HSU faculty, staff, and students.

“The Amish Project”, a play by Jessica Dickey, is a “fictional exploration of the Nickel Mines schoolhouse shooting in an Amish community, and the path of forgiveness and compassion forged in its wake.” The play will be directed by Dr. Victoria Spangler, Associate Professor of Theatre.

The Nickel Mines shooting was a tragic event that took place in 2006 in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania. A 30-year-old man opened fire in a small, one-room Amish schoolhouse, and ended up killing several girls and himself. Shockingly, the Amish community forgave the killer’s actions and offered help to his widow that same day. This sudden act of forgiveness in a time of grieving surprised the country.

Dr. Victoria Spangler admires the play’s exploration of forgiveness and Godly love. “…on that day, they took a step which set in motion an action, and from that action, a process was started…they forgave, not because they ‘felt’ it, but because it’s the Godly thing to do.” Spangler said. “What better concept to explore at a Christian university?”

Dakota Medlin ’19 plays Bill North, an American Religion professor for the local university. “…he bridges the gap between the Amish and the non-Amish, allowing insight to those who don’t understand how the Amish can forgive this crime,” said Medlin. “I believe the story captures not only the act of forgiveness and how it is seen in different aspects, but it also allows the audience to view the differences in which people mourn.”

“The Amish Project” has affected everyone involved due to its universal theme of what it means to be a human and deal with how to respond to situations that test us. “The show has challenged me and allowed me to grow as an actor, as well as a person,” said Medlin.

Tickets for the show can be purchased by calling the Van Ellis Theatre box office at (325) 670-1405 or online at the HSU Theatre webpage.