When a young Amish woman discovers a long-held secret, her life takes an unexpected turn and opens her world to a new kind of faith and love.
Based on "The Heritage of Lancaster County" books by Beverly Lewis, The Confession Musical, comes to theaters for one night only on February 20th. For the Fathom Events information, click here.
This filmed version of the stage play enables audiences join with theater goers to witness this powerful story of faith, connection, and love, starring John Schneider and Chonda Pierce.
Katie Lapp (Caroline Clay) grew up on an Amish farm. She's in love with Daniel (John Michael McDonald) and it seems like a proposal is not far off. But Katie and Daniel are not your typical Amish folk as they enjoy writing music together, playing on Daniel's forbidden guitar. Wallowing in grief when Daniel accidentally drowns, Katie sneaks to the attic where she's hidden the guitar. There, she discovers a box of objects she's never seen, including a baby girl's dress, made of much finer material than anything her people use.
John Michael McDonald and Caroline Clay in "The Confession Musical." © 2023 Blue Gate Musicals. All Rights Reserved.
When Katie questions her mother, Rebecca (Kristina Miranda Sloan) about it, she discovers that she's adopted and her parents never told her. While secrets are being revealed, Rebecca tells Katie of a letter she received from Katie's birth mother. She's since burned it but recalls only the woman's name: Laura Mayfield-Bennet (Liz Brooks) and where she was from.
Laura has MS and doesn't have long to live and looks for her daughter. A wealthy woman, Laura wants to leave her worldly goods to her daughter if she can be found. She's aided by her faith-filled maid, Rosie (Chonda Pierce), and Rosie's husband, the butler Fulton (Colin Alexander).
When Laura's husband, Dylan Bennet (John Schneider) discovers her plans, his greedy heart leads him to hire an actress (Caitlin Borek) to impersonate the long-lost daughter, hoping that Laura's money can be his when she dies.
Cast of "The Confession Musical" in Laura's home. © 2023 Blue Gate Musicals. All Rights Reserved.
The story is poignant and beautifully told, even if not quite up to Broadway standards. One song, "Where You Are," is particularly moving. Both mothers, Rebecca and Laura, sing a duet about their love for their daughter and Katie joins in with verses about sharing her love with both of them and having the feeling that the missing piece of her life has become known.
There are plenty of opportunities to laugh out loud as well. Rosie and Fulton try to coordinate the strange goings on at the Mayfield/Bennet home, especially while Katie and the actress posing as her are in the house at the same time, resulting in plenty of hilarious scenarios.
I found it rather jolting that the filmmakers would choose to keep an intermission in the middle of the film, but with a run time of close to three hours, it provides an opportunity to visit the facilities or get more popcorn and makes the film feel like an authentic theater experience.
The Confession Musical is infused with the human desire for connection and the drive to know where one comes from. The faith of the characters showcases that God has a plan and place for each of us. That plan may not always reveal itself in the ways we expect, but this story shows that if we're open to God's will with faith, great things can happen.
About the Author
Sister Hosea Rupprecht is a member of the Daughters of St. Paul, a religious community dedicated to evangelization with the media. She holds a Master of Theological Studies degree from the University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto and an MA in Media Literacy from Webster University in St. Louis.
Sr. Hosea is director of the East Coast office of the Pauline Center for Media Studies, based in Staten Island, NY, and speaks on media literacy and faith to catechists, parents, youth, and young adults. Together with Father Chip Hines, she is the co-host of Searchlight, a Catholic movie review show on Catholic TV. Sr. Hosea is the author of How to Watch Movies with Kids: A Values-Based Strategy, released by Pauline Books & Media.
For the past 15 years, she has facilitated various film dialogues for both children and adults, as well as given presentations on integrating culture, faith and media.