This summer, The Blue Gate Performing Arts Center at 175 N. Van Buren St., Shipshewana, welcomes guests to “The Confession,” a brilliant love story and a keep-you-at-the-edge-of-your-seat mystery all wrapped into one entertaining musical.
“It’s a wonderful story that has been infused with great comedy and wonderful music,” says Andy Rohrer, vice president of sales and marketing at Blue Gate. “People who like musicals, and even ones who don’t like musicals, love this one.”
Based on a “New York Times” bestselling book, the script for “The Confession” was adapted for the stage by Martha Bolton, who made her career as the head writer for Bob Hope.
“So, the comedy is truly wonderful,” Rohrer says. “Add in Blue Gate Musical’s amazing Nashville-based musicians, composers and production designers and you have a world-class show.”
Last year, the show was filmed for a live Fathom Movie event and broadcast nationwide. Its wholesome and uplifting plot resonates with a wide range of audience members.
“While the show deals with difficult situations and relationships, it doesn’t stoop to crude language or try to make audience members uncomfortable – real life is filled with plenty of drama and surprises without coercing it,” Rohrer says.
He hopes audience members leave the show feeling uplifted. Since the first run of “The Confession” in 2012, the show has consistently elicited countless words of affirmation for its positive story and message.
Beyond this, the topic of adoption is a strong theme, and the show often can help guests on both sides of these relationships understand and process the myriad of emotions, Rohrer adds.
“And, of course, ultimately we hope that everyone is entertained, whether they leave laughing or humming a tune,” he says.
The Blue Gate Performing Arts Center is part of the larger Blue Gate complex, encompassing a hotel, restaurant, and shopping options in addition to its state-of-the-art theatre. Located in the heart of Amish country, guests are oftentimes looking for ways to understand and see the local culture in a “behind the scenes” sort of way, Rohrer adds. And, while “The Confession” is fictional, many authentic elements in the show can help guests understand the local Amish community.
“Great stories are great for everyone – it doesn’t matter where you live, how you were raised, or what culture you come from,” Rohrer says. “Locals will be amazed that this show is right down the street, and visitors will be happy they discovered it.”
For those who wish for a full getaway experience, Shipshewana is full of places and activities to enjoy both before and after the show. For starters, there’s dining at the Blue Gate Restaurant and Bakery, shopping at the downtown shops, or visiting the local Flea Market. If guests have more time, Rohrer recommends visiting the Menno-Hof Amish & Mennonite History Museum and taking a ride on the Pumkinvine bike trail. For those wishing to spend the night, the Blue Gate Garden Inn is conveniently located right next to the Performing Arts Center.
“And, of course, the Blue Gate Performing Arts Center is a wonderful venue to see any show,” Rohrer adds. “The state-of-the-art lights and sound make each performance come alive.”
The cast of “The Confession” comes from all over the country, and one of the top compliments Rohrer hears from guests is how wonderful the cast members are.
“We work hard to find the best talent we can, and our guests notice,” he says.
The show runs almost every day from now until Aug. 18. A full list of dates and times is available at thebluegate.com. Tickets are $38.95 and be reserved online or by calling (260) 768-4725.