Inspiration Studios
Press Release

Village Playhouse Presents The Lilies of the Field

The Lilies of the Field by F. Andrew Leslie, from the novel by William E. Barrett, is a family-friendly drama about a traveling handyman who answers the prayers of a group of refugee nuns.

By - Nov 25th, 2019 03:30 pm
The Lilies of the Field

The Lilies of the Field

Local theater director and playwright, Deanna Strasse, leads a Village Playhouse production of the critically acclaimed play, The Lilies of the Field, which opens Friday, December 6, for a 3-weekend run at Inspiration Studios, 1500 S. 73rd Street in West Allis. Performance times are 7:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays with 2:00pm matinees on December 15 and 22.

The Lilies of the Field by F. Andrew Leslie, from the novel by William E. Barrett, is a family-friendly drama about a traveling handyman who answers the prayers of a group of refugee nuns. Having decided to travel about the country after his discharge from the army, Homer Smith (played by Randy Janowski) heads west, with plans to stop when and where the spirit moves him. On his journey, he meets a group of German nuns in a predominantly Spanish-speaking town. His offer to fix their leaky roof leads him on a journey of self-discovery and faith that changes his life, and the lives of the nuns, forever.

As soon as she heard that the director’s position for Lilies of the Field was open, Strasse jumped at the opportunity. “I had never read the script, but the movie is a classic and I knew that I wanted to be involved one way or another.  The novel made quite a stir when it was first released in 1962 as did its movie counterpart.” 

Sidney Poitier won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Homer in the movie. This was also the first time an African American man had won this award. Homer is a man full of indecision, doubt, and reason. His characteristics juxtapose beautifully against Mother Maria Marthe’s (Mary Lynn Ferwerda) rock solid and seemingly irrational faith.

“Our story will be a little different,” adds Strasse, “but I feel it still carries the same message of hope, purpose, honor, and family. We all must take a leap of faith every once in a while; put our own pride aside and have faith in the things beyond our control.  

In the end, this is a story about a man who chooses that irrational faith in something bigger than himself in order to create something truly astounding.

Rounding out the cadre of nuns are Bailey Haag, Joanna Langworthy, Amy Wickland and Vivian Moller. Joe Gallo narrates the scenes as Fr. Gómez. Evan Prier is José, the restaurant owner who provides some guidance with adobe bricks. Scott Sorensen plays Orville Livingston, who supplies bricks needed to build the chapel.

The Lilies of the Field runs Fridays and Saturdays, December 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21 at 7:30pm, Matinees are at 2:00pm on Sundays, December 15 and 22.  All performances are at Inspiration Studios, 1500 S. 73rd Street. Tickets can be reserved by calling (414)207-4879 or by emailing TheLiliesOfTheField@villageplayhouse.org. Tickets can be purchased online through Brown Paper Tickets.

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An Opening Reception with the artist will take place Sunday, December 1, 2:00-5:00pm, at the West Allis gallery, located at 1500 S. 73rd Street.

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The Opening Reception for Into The Forest will take place Saturday, November 9, 2-5pm at Inspiration Studios, 1500 S. 73rd Street in West Allis.

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