Stage Adaptation of ‘The Hiding Place’ Brings Corrie ten Boom’s Inspiring Story to Cinemas Nationwide

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James Lasher

A compelling theatrical production based on the inspiring story of Corrie ten Boom and her family during World War II is set to captivate audiences on the big screen.

“The Hiding Place,” a play adapted from ten Boom’s memoir by A.S. Peterson and directed by Matt Logan, was filmed live at the Soli Deo Center in Nashville, Tennessee, during a successful four-week run in 2022. The play’s upcoming limited theatrical release promises to share its powerful message of hospitality, forgiveness and unwavering faith with audiences across the country.

“The Hiding Place” narrates the moving journey of Corrie ten Boom (portrayed by Nan Gurley) and her family as they quietly resist the horrors of the Third Reich in 1940s Haarlem, Holland, driven by their love for God and their fellow human beings. Peterson, in an interview with The Christian Post, emphasizes that “The Hiding Place” offers more than just a historical account of World War II.

“One of the things that I think is so remarkable about the ten Booms is they were committed to fighting the war with hospitality,” he says. “They were committed to kindness, to loving their neighbors at the risk of their own safety. They were willing to love people that believed other than they did, which is a really remarkable thing. The world needs more of that.

“As Christians, we’re called to love our neighbors,” Peterson continues. “The Bible doesn’t say, ‘Love your neighbors if.’ It just says, ‘Love your neighbors.’ The ten Booms are such a great example of how that works out and can actually change the world. If you followed the family trees of the refugees that they saved, there is a whole, exponentially growing section of the world that wouldn’t exist without them. And that’s thanks, exclusively, to their attempts to love their neighbor, without concern for their own safety.”

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Instead, it is a timeless story that challenges viewers to reflect on their beliefs, choices and capacity for love and forgiveness. Peterson also points out the ten Booms’ dedication to combatting war through hospitality and kindness, serving as a powerful example for today’s world.

Originally commissioned to honor the memory of Jeannette Clift George, who starred as ten Boom in the 1975 biographical film “The Hiding Place,” the play later evolved and found its way to Nashville, becoming an even more impactful representation of the story.

Nan Gurley, a devout Christian, shares how bringing Corrie ten Boom to life deeply affected her. She meticulously studied ten Boom’s life and writings, immersing herself in video footage of the late author to authentically portray her Dutch accent. “The Hiding Place” aims to truthfully depict the ten Booms’ story, highlighting Corrie’s struggle to forgive and show mercy in the face of evil.

“She’s an icon of the faith,” Gurley says. “It caused me to think, ‘What would I do if I had to die on a hill, if my life was at stake? If I had that choice, be true to what I believe the Lord is calling me to do or compromise, what would I do?’ Which is very sobering.”

“The Hiding Place” encourages audiences to find courage and faith in their own lives, embracing determination when faced with difficult choices. The play challenges viewers to stay true to their beliefs, making decisions that align with their values and embracing unwavering commitment to their convictions.

Director Matt Logan stresses that “The Hiding Place” is a work of art, not propaganda, leaving ample room for personal interpretation. Rather than dictating thoughts and emotions, the play presents a genuine story that resonates uniquely with each individual.

“Propaganda is telling you what to think,” he says. “Even if it’s great, it’s telling you what to draw from something, whereas art is leaving space for your interpretation, and bringing truth to the surface and allowing it to hit you and any realm of your life that it resonates.”

Peterson’s hope is that audiences will view the ten Booms as witnesses whose testimonies hold valuable lessons. Their ability to love, forgive and find gratitude in the darkest times should inspire trust in the experiences of those who have endured hardship, positively influencing others’ lives.

“The Hiding Place” is set to grace select North American theaters on Aug. 3 and Aug. 5, with a one-day theatrical run in international territories on Aug. 16. The timeless and powerful message of Corrie ten Boom’s extraordinary journey is sure to leave a lasting impact on all who witness her story.

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James Lasher is staff writer for Charisma Media.

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