Written by: Celita Diaz-Perillo (Date written: 02/18/2023)
The Confession Musical is based off of the well-known book series, “The Heritage of Lancaster County” by Christian fiction author, Beverly Lewis. Author, scriptwriter and playwright, Martha Bolton, wrote The Confession so that it could be performed on a stage, and it was produced by producer Dan Posthuma.
The story is about a young Amish girl, Katie Lapp, whose life is completely overturned when she discovers a long-held secret that she was adopted. Due to her desire to seek out her birth mother, and her instancy in doing so, she is shunned from her Amish community.
Laura Mayfield, Katie’s birth mother, has wanted to find her daughter, to make amends. She has little time to do so, as she is dying. She can only trust God as she waits for the day she can give her only daughter her inheritance before it is too late.
Dylan Mayfield (John Schneider) is Laura Mayfield’s husband. He wants all of Laura’s wealth for himself, and he schemes on how to do that. He is a low down scoundrel, but God’s plans are bigger and better than ours.
Due to real-to-life circumstances and the representation of sin and its damage, the play/film can have moments that feel quite heavy, but lightness and laughter sweep in the moment Laura Mayfield’s Christian housekeeper, nursemaid, and friend, Rosie Taylor (Chonda Pierce) comes on the scene. Together with her on-stage husband, the butler Fulton Taylor (Colin Alexander), they confront the drama and particular circumstances with prayer, snarkiness, wisdom, and a good dose of love.
Anyone who is a lover of Beverly Lewis’ writing and stories now has a new way of enjoying her talents and written creations. While I didn’t know how I would feel watching the play, I have taken time to review my feelings and my perspective of it, and I rejoice for opportunities like this to continue to broaden the opportunities we, as believers, have to share Jesus with the world. It is another valuable and fun tool, and in the capable “hands” of these singers and actors, it is a blessing.
When it comes to adaptations of books to film or stage, I often wonder if it will lose its authenticity. I was pleasantly surprised that The Confession Musical remained true to the story and it was interesting to see the book come to life. All sensitive moments (deception, death, etc…) were handled so well that I would categorize the play/film as “family friendly”. There may be opportunities that arise for discussion (in families or youth groups); they can provide both entertainment and moments for family bonding.
The Confession has elements of drama, clean romance, and comedy, and it ends with a great dose of faith, hope, forgiveness, redemption, and transforming love.
The best way to explain the overall feeling I have of this play/film is this verse, “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)