Purity Ring Family Theatre, a Northern Michigan teen group, is performing an adventure-filled musical Pilgrim, Her Story at the Great Lakes Center for the Arts, Bay Harbor on Friday and Saturday April 5 and 6 at 7 p.m. and on Sunday April 7 at 2:30 pm.
Pilgrim, Her Story is an updated version of Christian Theatre Productions musical Pilgrim, revised for a female lead.
Pilgrim and Pilgrim, Her Story, written by Janice Landry and Cathy Mays, are both contemporary adaptations of the classic book, Pilgrim’s Progress written over 340 years ago by John Bunyan, a prisoner of conscience for 12 years in an English jail.
The allegorical tale is regarded as one of the most significant works of English literature, has been translated into more than 200 languages, and has never been out of print.
The original version of the musical, Pilgrim, was presented by Purity Ring Family Theatre at the Petoskey Middle School Auditorium in 2014.
Using Bunyan’s allegories, Pilgrim, Her Story, follows a young woman of today, named Christian, portrayed by Petoskey home school student, Stephanie Maendel.
Seeking to belong and find meaning to her life, she makes the decision to leave her home, “The City of Destruction”, to follow the road to the “Celestial City.”
Christian travels with the unseen King, played by Dominic Oliver, from Goodhart, Michigan.
Along a journey of self discovery, she encounters many unsavory characters such as Worldly Wiseman, Giant Despair, and the evil Apollyon.
At other times she meets those who encourage her to continue to stay on the path, often with humor and up-beat, delightful music and dance.
Reluctantly, Christian accepts the friendship of Hopeful, played by Joel Dubey, from Wolverine, Michigan, who releases her from a cage at Vanity Fair and helps her find the key of promise to escape the Dungeon of Despair.
The musical covers topics of false accusation, friendship, pride, materialism, family, and sensitively deals with depression and suicidal thoughts, which are the struggles of the main character, Christian.
“The cast has been given an opportunity to present deep subjects that today’s youth deal with and they do so with believability.” said Julie Peurasaari, producer and co-director, “Right now, we are at the stage of rehearsal where we are running through the scenes, taking polishing notes, and I am so often drawn into their story that I lose my place in the script. I know they will take their audience on a journey they won’t forget.”
With dance, humor, drama, and poignant music, Pilgrim, Her Story is a relevant look at faith and the real world.
The production is family friendly, and although it is the parent’s choice, the musical is not recommended for preschoolers because of a few possible frightening scenes.
Tickets are $10.00 for adults and $7.00 for age 18 and under.
They are available through myticketsnorth.com or on the website, purityringfamilytheatre.com. For more information call 231-203-4847.
Purity Ring Family Theatre, a Christian theatre arts ministry for home school teens, age 12 to 19, has been performing an annual spring play or musical in Northern Michigan since 2003.
Thirty-eight students from six counties are involved in this year’s show.