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It’s personal in Dutch Country

Joel Cliff

The experience of awe-inspiring theater is always enjoyable, but sharing it with your children is a real treat. Recently, my wife and I were lucky enough to take our two sons to the preview show of “Jonah” at Sight and Sound Theatres in Strasburg.  Both the show and my sons’ reactions were truly beyond expectation.

“Jonah” is an inspirational story about the power of redemption, and Sight and Sound tells it wonderfully with upbeat original music, fantastic sets and dazzling special effects.

The best part, however, was the chance to see the production through their young eyes. They seemed mesmerized by the enormous whale swimming overhead, the life-size replica of Jonah’s boat and the sight and thunderous sounds of the mighty storm.

At one point during the show, my 9-year-old leaned over to me and — referring to the theater’s use of live animals — whispered, “Dad, I can’t believe the ducks and the skunk and the donkey followed Jonah like that. They’re as well-trained as the actors.”

Afterward, at a local diner for pie and ice cream, the conversation continued, with thoughts and questions about why the story turned out the way it did, how the theater could so realistically create the underwater scene and when we could see this play, or any play, again.

Right before my eyes, two young boys started down a path of what I hope will be a lifelong love of the theater.