By Doug Kish, MA
In 2012 Dutchman Hospitality converted the conference center at the Carlisle Inn Sugarcreek into a small theater-in-the-round in an effort to bring evening entertainment to overnight guests in Amish country. While they achieved success with live musicals produced by Blue Gate Musicals of Nashville, Tennessee, they had limited space in that area. Dutchman Hospitality recently expanded that venue with the completion of a new building. Located adjacent to the Dutch Valley Restaurant and the Carlisle Inn, the Ohio Star Theater at Dutch Valley was born.
The new theater, which seats 512 people, hosts concerts and musicals that the whole family can enjoy. After opening its doors in April, 2017 with weekend concert performances, the musical comedy The Home Game played through August. Based on a story written by Martha Bolton, Ms. Bolton was a special guest at the grand opening ceremony held on May 18, 2017. All productions at Ohio Star Theater feature trained cast members chosen from professionals that audition for parts. Cast members selected from various states spend the season, living and performing in Sugarcreek.
With all musicals based on the Amish and Mennonite lifestyle, starting August 29, 2017, The Confession begins. Based on a story by Beverly Lewis, it features new songs and staging from its former version while it continues through November 4, 2017. Appearing concurrently and beginning September 6, 2017, is a new production, Mennonite Girls Can Cook. This musical comedy traces the fun that occurs when two Mennonite women star in a small-town cable cooking show that attracts the attention of a Hollywood producer. Scheduled concerts include Mark Lowry and the Gospel Harmony Boys on September 1 and 2 and September 12 respectively.
At the end of the year, Our Christmas Dinner begins on November 9 and continues through December 16, 2017. Based on a story by Wally Nason and Martha Bolton, it reveals what happens when an unlikely group of strangers and kinfolk are brought together by a snowstorm and discover the real meaning of Christmas. Concerts by Steve Green will be December 5 and 6, followed by two showings of the 11th Annual New Year’s Party with a Purpose on December 30.
The Ohio Star Theater is available for community events, business retreats, conferences, and church and marriage retreats throughout the year. With the addition of this facility, Dutchman Hospitality presents a campus where you can enjoy Amish cooking at Dutch Valley Restaurant, shop at Dutch Valley Gifts, take in a performance at the Ohio Star Theater, and spend the night at the Carlisle Inn Sugarcreek.
For more information about upcoming events at the Ohio Star Theater, or to purchase tickets, consult their website at www.ohiostartheater.com. For more information or to book an overnight stay at the Carlisle Inn Sugarcreek, check their website www.carlisleinns.com.
Ohio Star Theater at Dutch Valley