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Haunting Incident Spawns Fascinating Play

An unusual new production at the Tobin's Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater debuts Thursday, Feb. 11.  It's called The Amish Project, and it's not exactly a formulaic Broadway comedy. 

"I would say there are very light moments," says star Sarah Gise. "It's certainly not overly dramatic because the incident itself was dramatic enough."

The incident she's talking about is both the cornerstone to the play, and a very dark piece of history.

"In 2006, on Oct. 2 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a shooter came into an Amish school house, and then he shot 10 girls in the head, and then shot himself. And it was horrifying for everyone."

What happened next was equally as shocking to many Americans.

"The Amish forgave instantaneously. They went and brought food to the gunman's widow and two children."

While horrified at the incident, the Amish were quickly accepting of it, and seemed to question it very little. Gise has a simple explanation for something that might seem inexplicable to many

"They don't believe that God makes mistakes," she said.  "A lot of the Amish actually showed up for the gunman's funeral, and they stood in a line to block the press from intruding on the family's grief."

The Amish Project is a a 1-person play.

"It is, it's just me."

But this 1-person play has a twist: there are 7 characters and she plays them all. 

"I do," she laughed.  "I don't know that this kind of show has been done in San Antonio."

It starts Thursday night at the Tobin's Carlos Alvarez theater for a two-week run.

"This is a really unique show and I hope people will come out to see it," she added.

For more on The Amish Project go here

For more on the presenting company Attic Rep, go here

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii