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The Amish Project

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On this page you will find news, reviews, articles and announcements about the Theatre Conspiracy’s production of The Amish Project at Florida SouthWestern State College.

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Local artist Vicki Baker raves about Tera Nicole Miller’s performance in ‘The Amish Project’ (01-30-16)

Vicki Baker 02SLocal artist Vicki Baker (pictured right with her portrait of Fort Myers female pioneer Evalina Weatherford Gonzalez) went to see The Amish Project at FSW’s Black Box Theater. “What  wonderful acting by Tera Miller,” she raved after the performance. “Truly a command performance! A well-written script with well-developed characters. This play is touchingly poignant and has entertaining moments of humor. I highly recommend going!”

Performed at Florida Southwestern State College, The Amish Project is produced by Theatre Conspiracy. AmishRemaining performances are January 30 and February 4, 5 and 6 at 8 p.m., with a matinee at 2 p.m. on February 7.  Called “a remarkable piece of writing” by The New York Times and “unique, uplifting, and unforgettable” by Chicago Theatre Beat, this powerful and poetic piece is a fictional exploration inspired by the 2006 killing of five girls in a hostage-taking at an Amish school in Pennsylvania. Actress Tera Nicole Miller conjures seven characters, from gunman to community members, to victims and family, and delves into how communities are indelibly tied together in such a crisis, as well as how forgiveness and compassion are forged in the wake of tragedy.

[For more on Tera Nicole Miller, read on.]

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Tera Nicole Miller plays seven separate roles in Theatre Conspiracy’s production of ‘The Amish Project’ (01-24-16)

Tera 02Part of Theatre Conspiracy’s season-long focus on women playwrights, The Amish Project by Jessica Dickey. It is a one-woman show in which Tera Nicole Miller portrays seven very different characters:

  • Eddie Stuckey, a 33-year-old milkman who takes ten young girls hostage in a one-room Amish schoolhouse, then shoots them, killing five, before killing himself;
  • Carol Stuckey, his 31-year-old widow;
  • Velda, a 6-year-old victim;
  • Anna, Velda’s 14-year-old sister;
  • Tera 01America, a pregnant 16-year-old Puerto Rican girl who works at the local grocery store.
  • Sherry Local, a 53-year-old resident who is the town gossip of Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania; and
  • Bill North, a 50-something-year-old scholar and professor who’s an expert in religion and the Amish culture, as well as a spokesman for several of the Amish families affected by the shooting.

There are no costume changes, and no props or hats by which to distinguish between the Melinda 02Scharacters. Instead, Miller remains dressed in a simple, dark Amish outfit throughout the performance, complete with white bonnet and apron. The way she changes characters is all in her posture, voice and gesture.

But she handles the changing roles and mindsets with nimble dexterity, something Director Bill Taylor says he knew she could and would do. “She’s a very talented actress.”

Local audiences last saw Miller in Lab Theater’s Eva and Melinda 03Ssummer stock play Happy. There, she had the unenviable task of portraying a middle-aged wife of an unambitious tenured literature professor whose best friend has recently gotten involved with a gorgeous but mean-spirited 20-something-year-old tart who forces her to confront just how unhappy she is in her roles as wife and the mother of a severely-handicapped disabled child.

In addition to Theatre Conspiracy, Lab Theater and RSW’s Black Box Theater, Tera has performed amish 01at the Herb-Strauss Theater on Sanibel and the Sugden Theatre for The Naples Players. Her credits include roles in The Play About the Baby, Extremities, The Exile, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Swell Party, Becky Shaw, The Dead Guy, The Liar, Frankenstein Summer, Last Train to Nibroc, Leap, Love, Loss & What I Wore, House of Yes, Polish Joke, What the Butler Saw, See How They amish 04Run, Sylvia and The Altruists.

When not on stage, Tera can be found behind the scenes as Front of House Manager, Stage Manager, Light/Sound Technician, Box Office Representative and Assistant Director at Theatre Conspiracy. In addition to her immense love of the arts, Tera maintains the Burroughs Home and Gardens, a treasured historic landmark in downtown Fort Myers. As Coordinator, she is amish 09blessed to combine her passion for history and theatrical talents while staging the property with The Burroughs Family’s irreplaceable artifacts, preserving the archives, ensuring historic integrity is protected, conducting guided historical tours and representing the Home and its lineage through public speaking engagements.

For more on Tera’s performance in The Amish Project, click here for a review and interview by Florida Weekly’s Nancy Stetson.

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The Amish Project’ opens at FSW’s Black Box Theatre (01-23-16)

amish 01The Amish Project by award-winning writer Jessica Dickey opened last night at Florida SouthWestern State College’s Black Box Theater in Building L. The show is produced in conjunction with Theatre Conspiracy. The play is based on the Nickels Mines School shootings that took place on October 2, 2006. On that date, a gunman by the name of Charles Carl Roberts IV took hostages and amish 04shot eight out of ten girls (aged 6–13), killing five, before committing suicide in the schoolhouse. 

At a time when mass shootings happen almost daily in our country, the events surrounding the Nickel Mines killings stand out in our memories, not only because most Americans could never comprehend such a thing happening among the pacifist Amish, but because the Amish families of the victims extended forgiveness to the shooter amish 03and condolences to the shooter’s family. Called “a remarkable piece of writing” by The New York Times and “unique, uplifting, and unforgettable” by Chicago Theatre Beat, The Amish Project is not an historical account of the killings, but rather a powerful and poetic piece of fictional writing inspired by that event.

amish 02Actress Tera Nicole Miller conjures seven characters, from gunman to community members, to victims and family, and delves into how communities are indelibly tied together in such a crisis, as well as how forgiveness and compassion are forged in the wake of tragedy.

The Amish Project plays January 22, 23, 28, 29 amish 05and 30 and February 4, 5 and 6 at 8 p.m. There will be one matinee on February 7 at 2 p.m. Thursday nights are “buy one get one half off”. Tickets are $24 or $11 for students with proper ID and women under 41 years of age.

  1. chuck west says:

    Re: The Amish Project.

    Tera was just incredible in every character portrayed. My attention was grabbed and locked for the next one and a half hours.
    Great job Tera.

    Chuck West

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