135 East Fisher Street | Salisbury, NC | (704) 633-5471

In God’s Own Country celebrates this year’s 500th anniversary of the Reformation. This special production is a collaboration between the German theatre company Landesbuhnen Sachsen and Piedmont Players. It follows the story of Henry Muhlenberg and his effort to bring the Lutheran Church to America and details the struggles of immigrants who fled to America to escape religious persecution. The show is primarily spoken in English with some parts in German. It will be performed several times in Germany before traveling to the states and arriving at the Meroney Theater.

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AUDITION DATES

SEPT 5-6, 2017

PERFORMANCE DATES

OCT 12-15 & 18-21, 2017

INTERNATIONAL THEATER PROJECT CELEBRATING THE

500th ANNIVERSARY OF THE REFORMATION

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A production of Piedmont Players Theatre and the Landesbühnen Sachsen Theater companies in cooperation with St. John’s Lutheran Church.

A drama by Olaf Hörbe, based on the historical novel by Eberhard Görner in an English translation by Jane Taubert. Music by Paul Heller.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Heinrich (Henry) Mühlenberg studied languages, music and theology in the German cities Göttingen and Halle. Ordained as a Lutheran minister in Leipzig, he accepted a call in 1741 to administer to fledgling Lutheran congregations in the English Colonies on the American Continent. Mühlenberg joined the scattered and directionless churches in and around Philadelphia and forged them into an American denomination that could effectively serve the flood of European immigrants in the latter part of the eighteenth century. Heinrich Melchior Mühlenberg is known today as the “patriarch of the Lutheran Church in America”.


THE PLAY

“In God's Own Country“ not only tells the story of Mühlenberg's struggle to establish the Lutheran Church in America, but also focuses on the plight of those immigrants who came to the colonies in search of religious and political freedom. Flight and expulsion, indentured servitude and the search for asylum, civic responsibility as well as cultural and religious tolerance are central themes.  Community players and large choruses will augment the narrative of this vibrant drama.


THE MUSIC

Composer Paul Heller has been commissioned with producing an original score for the stage drama. Musical partner of this production is the internationally acclaimed vocal quintet Ensemble Nobiles. The a cappella ensemble successfully collaborates with renowned artists such as the composers Manfred Schlenker, Volker Bräutigam, David Hamilton and Jeremy Rawson. In 2014 Ensemble Nobiles was honored by the German Music Council and included in the Federal Selection of Concerts for Young Artists. The vocalists have won numerous prizes at national and international vocal competitions.


THE THEATER COMPANY

The Landesbühnen Sachsen is the professional travelling repertory theater of the German province of Saxony with music theater, ballet and drama ensembles. Over 200 employees – among them the theater’s own props, scenery and costume departments, ticketing, marketing, sales and administration offices – are responsible for organizing, preparing and performing more than 600 performances each year in Saxony, Middle Germany and other European venues, such as Denmark, Austria, Poland, England, Cuba and Kosovo.


THE AUTHORS

Playwright Olaf Hörbe has adapted Eberhard Görner’s historical Novel “In Gottes eigenem Land” for the theater stage, creating a dramatic version which will involve a cast of professional actors and musicians supported by numerous community players from the region. Olaf Hörbe, a native of Berlin, studied acting and theater arts in Leipzig and Dresden, before joining the ensemble of the Landesbühnen Sachsen in 1977. In addition to playing roles such as William Tell, King Lear, Mephisto and Othello, Olaf has developed diverse literary works for the stage, among them the tales of Karl May and Grimmelshausen’s „Simplicius Simplicissimus“. Eberhard Görner is a prominent screenplay writer responsible for numerous film and television productions. His historical and biographical novels, such as “In Gottes eigenem Land”, have become bestsellers on the German market.


THE DIRECTOR

The bi-lingual production “In God’s Own Country” (German/English) will be directed by Damian Cruden, Artistic Director of York Theatre Royal since 1997. Among his many productions in York are:  To Kill a Mocking Bird, The Wind in the Willows, The Railway Children, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Educating Rita. Damian’s stage production “Railway Children” was awarded the coveted Laurence Olivier Award for Best Entertainment in 2011.