We’ve pulled together an incredible group of actors for our new production of The Hiding Place, and today I’m thrilled to be able to introduce you to some of the folks on the team.
Conrad John Schuck is Caspar Ten Boom
First, it’s an honor to announce that movie, television, and stage veteran Conrad John Schuck has joined us to play the part of “Papa” Caspar Ten Boom. His professional acting career began after college in The Cleveland Playhouse and in regional theaters in Cleveland, Baltimore, Buffalo, and eventually San Francisco. It was there, while acting at the American Conservatory Theater, that he was seen by director Robert Altman who cast him as Painless in M*A*S*H. His association with Altman led to a wealth of roles in other films including Outrageous Fortune, Finders Keepers, and Star Trek IV and Star Trek VI. His first screen kiss was with Elizabeth Taylor, and he has guest-starred in over 50 television shows including Gunsmoke, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, St. Elsewhere, Bonanza, Law and Order: SVU, and (this one is my favorite) Babylon 5. (If you remember the character of Draal, you’ll understand just how perfect he is for Papa Ten Boom.)
Theater has always been his favorite type of work and he continues to work regionally as well as on Broadway, where he made his debut in the 1997 Broadway revival of Annie as Daddy Warbucks. On Broadway, he also appeared in Annie Get Your Gun with Reba McEntire and most recently in Nice Work If You Can Get It with Matthew Broderick. In London’s West End, he appeared in The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial with Charlton Heston. Schuck recently completed seven seasons in the national tour of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. Locally, he appeared in Twelve Angry Men and the much acclaimed The Elephant Man for Studio Tenn.
Carrie Tillis is Betsie Ten Boom
Next up, in the role of Betsie Ten Boom is one of the most delightful people in Nashville, Carrie Tillis. Daughter of country legend Mel Tillis and sister to country star Pam Tillis, Carrie’s talents and experience stretch beyond the world of country music. Her résumé jumps from opera to Grand Ole Opry and Broadway to big band. After gaining notoriety via performances with her father, she traded his legendary Statesider Band for an even bigger orchestra, performing her first love—Broadway’s American Songbook—in theater and symphony concerts around the world. Leading a regional theater production of Keep On the Sunny Side (the story of country music’s Carter family) was a catalyst for other country musicals like The Tammy Wynette Story, of which she played several tours. Carrie has graced the stages of the Grand Ole Opry and the Ryman Auditorium as a featured artist and with Studio Tenn’s hit Legacy series. Other credits include: Mary Alice (The Battle Of Franklin), Sarah (Guys and Dolls), Principle (Big River), Marian Paroo (The Music Man), and Magnolia (Show Boat). Carrie was a supporting lead in the Kerem Sanga feature film, The Violent Heart, and a guest star on the hit TV series, Nashville.
Nan Gurley is Corrie Ten Boom
And finally, my good friend Nan Gurley is in the lead role of Corrie Ten Boom. If you saw the Houston production of the show, she’ll be no stranger to you. She was phenomenal in that production and we couldn’t imagine doing it here in Nashville without her. Broadway World called her performance “utterly brilliant” and “nuanced, strong and sincere”—and we can’t wait to see her shine with the new material in this version of the show.
In addition to originating the role of Corrie Ten Boom, Nan has been a fixture on Nashville stages in a career that has spanned over 30 years and included iconic roles for Studio Tenn, Nashville Repertory Theatre, Nashville Children’s Theatre, Nashville Shakespeare Festival and more. A singer, actress, and writer, she has performed in more than 50 productions at Tennessee Performing Arts Center and has been a featured soloist with the Nashville Symphony. She’s a two-time Dove Award winner for co-writing two youth musicals, The Race Is On and Friends Forever. She’s also co-written a musical with Bonnie Keen entitled Women Who Dare to Believe, and she co-wrote and starred with Denice Hicks and Clare Syler in Shakespeare’s Case, which premiered at the Nashville Shakespeare Festival in May 2009. Her original one-woman show The Diary of Opal Whiteley was performed at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, S.C., and in several colleges and universities and performing arts centers in the Southeast. She wrote, hosted, and produced an educational television series on the performing arts entitled Front Row Center, which aired on PBS stations nationwide and won the Southern Education Communication’s Best Series of the Year Award.
Additional stage credits include: Blanche DuBois (A Streetcar Named Desire), Mama Rose (Gypsy), Dolly Levi (Hello Dolly!), Mistress Quickly (The Merry Wives of Winter), Nana (Tuck Everlasting), Truvy (Steel Magnolias), Golde (Fiddler on the Roof), and Carlotta (Phantom).
See what I mean? I’m genuinely baffled that I have the opportunity not only to work with such excellent and admirable folks, but to call them my friends as well. We’ve worked hard to re-structure the script and hone the characters and I’m humbled by the energy so many people have put into this story. I can’t wait for all of you to see the fruits of their labor.
The show opens June 30th and runs through July 17th. Tickets are available now at RabbitRoomTheatre.com.
Pete Peterson is the author of the Revolutionary War adventure The Fiddler’s Gun and its sequel Fiddler’s Green. Among the many strange things he’s been in life are the following: U.S Marine air traffic controller, television editor, art teacher and boatwright at the Florida Sheriffs Boys Ranch, and progenitor of the mysterious Budge-Nuzzard. He lives in Nashville with his wife, Jennifer, where he's the Executive Director of the Rabbit Room and Managing Editor of Rabbit Room Press.
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