Vespers to portray themes of trial, forgiveness through drama


Zach Franzen, Jessica Bowers and Ron Pyle rehearse for next week’s Vespers, a play about forgiveness. Photo: Amanda Ross

The first Vespers of the semester will dramatize what forgiveness in the midst of trials truly means.

Written by Mr. Dave Schwingle and directed by Mrs. Becca Kaser, both theatre arts faculty members, the production will be presented on Thursday, Feb. 6, at 7 and 8:30 p.m. in Rodeheaver Auditorium.

The production, titled “They Hear the Distant Thunder,” tells the story of Bob and Mary, a young couple facing a trial. When their baby is born with complications, their long-time friendship with Tommy, the doctor who delivered the baby, is threatened. Mr. Ron Pyle of the theatre arts faculty will play the role of Tommy. Bob, played by staff member Zach Franzen, begins to blame Tommy for the baby’s difficult birth.

The story will raise certain questions in the minds of the audience members as they follow Bob’s life through this trial: Was Tommy really to blame for the complications? How will Bob deal with his baby’s complications? Will Bob be able to accept the child God has given him? Ultimately, the theme for this Vespers play is forgiveness.

According to Kaser, the play portrays a theme common to our lives as Christians: we are all given difficult challenges and circumstances that we must walk through. We can react to the trials either by feeling sorry for ourselves, by trying to fix our problems on our own or by surrendering the trials to God and using them for His glory.

“We are supposed to accept [every] trial and look at it as grace and a gift from God to draw us closer to Him,” Kaser said. She hopes the audience will be encouraged by this truth.

Kaser desires for students to look at their own trials and see themselves in Bob’s character.

Other cast members include Mrs. Anne Nolan, a faculty member in the department of theatre arts; Jessica Bowers, a graduate assistant; Mr. Steve Skaggs, a staff member; and Matt Jones, a senior theatre arts major.