A refuge for Jews is hidden in the walls as The Wallace Book of Life Theatre transforms into the set for “The Hiding Place,” a story about Corrie ten Boom and her family’s work during the Holocaust.
Set in Haarlem, Netherlands, in 1940, the ten Boom family helps relocate Jews to the country while Nazis seek them out. As their work becomes more and more prevalent to an underground community, they are given an opportunity to be instrumental in saving the lives of many in their own home that doubles as a watch workshop.
Kiana Miskel, junior theater arts major, stars as the courageous and quick-thinking Corrie ten Boom and leads the story with her narration. A strong-willed passion comes through in her voice and mannerisms, creating a heroine for which the audience both sympathizes and cheers on simultaneously.
Throughout the play, there are beautiful messages of hope and forgiveness interwoven into a solemn story. Betsie ten Boom, played by Samantha Cockrell, senior theater arts and psychology double major, is the soft side to Corrie’s strength and the constant reminder for where the family’s determination stems: their faith. The role seems as though it was meant for Cockrell with her singsong voice and welcoming smile, both lending themselves perfectly to Betsie’s sweet and hopeful disposition.
The standout actor is Garret Repogle, CBU alumnus. His presence holds the audience’s attention every time he is on stage as Willem ten Boom — his best-played character among several other roles in the show. As Willem, Repogle demonstrates the greatest determination to make the family more successful in saving Jewish lives.
The first portion of the show hosts an elaborate set for the ten Boom’s watch shop and home. After intermission, the stage is stripped down to just a few elements, creating a necessary contrast to the first portion of the show. This bare landscape makes the script and intensity of each actor all the more valuable and necessary.
Do not miss this amazing story and its important message on maintaining forgiveness and faith through even the darkest experiences.
The Hiding Place, directed by Frank Mihelich, assistant professor of theater, runs in The Wallace Book of Life Theatre Feb. 20–21, and 26–28.