Gallery 7 stages classic Amish story

A story revolving around war, faith and forgiveness takes centre stage this week at Gallery 7 Theatre.

Performers (from left to right) Megan Mackenzie

Performers (from left to right) Megan Mackenzie

A story revolving around war, faith and forgiveness takes centre stage this week at Gallery 7 Theatre. The company is performing Anne Chislett’s drama Quiet in the Land, a play they produced 10 years ago with great success.  “This year being our 20th anniversary, I thought it only fitting that we go back to our roots as a theatre and re-mount this play with a refreshed look and vision,” said artistic director Ken Hildebrandt. “I’m curious to see how the production speaks to our current world and cultural realities.” A prodigal son story set in a Canadian Amish community during the First World War, Quiet in the Land explores the complexities of tradition and faith in a changing world. Yock Bauman can’t comprehend how his strict father can stand idly by while war rages in Europe. Shunning the pacifist beliefs of his community, Yock enlists in the military where he soon becomes a hero to the nation, but an outcast to his own community. Having been powerfully affected by the horrors of battle, Yock returns home to find he has lost more than he could ever have imagined. “Though much has changed in the past 10 years, a lot hasn’t,” said Hildebrandt. “We still deal with war, relationships, faith, traditions and all those universal things that make up the human experience. It’ll be interesting to see what new truths this re-envisioned production brings to the surface.”The cast of Quiet in the Land is made up of performers from throughout the Fraser Valley, including Abbotsford, Mission and Chilliwack. Playing the central character of Yock Bauman, the conflicted young Amish man struggling to balance his faith with world events, is newcomer Benjamin Wert. Jay Danziger takes on the role of his stalwart and sometimes hard-nosed father, who is determined to protect the Amish community’s faith and simple way of life. Yock’s love interest, Katie Brubacher, will be played by Megan Mackenzie and his best friend, Menno, by Kenzie Hall. Veteran performers Larry Hamm and Tracey Anderton appear as Katie’s parents. Rounding out the cast are Joshua Braun, Karin Gregory, Derek Koch, Sierra Soca, Danae Stark, Richard Toots, Mariah van Herwaarden and Becky Wiebe.Shannon Braithwaite from Langley makes her directorial debut with Quiet in the Land. She recently completed a master’s degree from Royal Holloway University of London, and is a graduate of Trinity Western University’s theatre program and the Canadian National Voice Intensive program.  Quiet in the Land runs March 4-5, 10 -12, 17-19 at 7:30 p.m., with additional discounted matinees on March 5 and 12 at 2 p.m. All performances are at the MEI Auditorium, located at 4081 Clearbrook Rd. Admission is $16 for adults, $14 for seniors and students, and $9 for children 12 and under. Tickets are available at House of James. Visit www.gallery7theatre.com for more details.