On Stage and in Theaters, Corrie ten Boom Testifies Again

How Rabbit Room playwright A.S. Peterson adapted ‘The Hiding Place’ for a new generation.

The story of one humble Dutch family has long riveted American evangelicals. Corrie and Betsie ten Boom, simple Christian watchmakers living with their father in the Netherlands, risked everything to protect their Jewish neighbors from the Holocaust. And they endured unspeakable evil at the hands of the Nazis with faith, hope, and Scripture, always testifying to the goodness of God and the power of forgiveness.

More than 50 years after the ten Booms’ story first reached American audiences with the publication of The Hiding Place , audiences packed a Nashville theater to see it retold on stage. Next week, the Rabbit Room’s theatrical production of The Hiding Place is coming to cinemas across the US, with two special showings in more than 800 locations on August 3 and 5.

CT caught up with playwright A. S. “Pete” Peterson to ask him about the challenge of adaptation, the problems with portraying Nazis, his incarnational understanding of theater, and the compelling, convicting mystery that’s at the heart of the ten Booms’ testimony.

Why do you think Corrie ten Boom’s story still grabs us? What it is about The Hiding Place that’s so compelling?

Corrie ten Boom and her family are part of our cloud of witnesses. They have stood in a place where we cannot and can testify to something we cannot understand. That gives me, I think, the opportunity to believe in the absence of evidence that I can see myself.

There’s a mystery at the heart of the story that’s almost impossible to define. The sense that the ten Booms had of the sovereignty of God and their ability to be grateful in the worst circumstances essentially do not make sense. But I don’t mean that they’re crazy. …

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