The Last Sin Eater: Must-see theater

Cadi Forbes lives with a horrible weight. Only 10 years old, she bears the guilt of her younger sister Elen’s death, and feels the shame of her mother’s rejection every day. This anguish is compounded when her grandmother dies, the only woman who loved her unconditionally. In the opening scene of the play, Cadi is mourning at her grandmother’s grave with the rest of her Smoky Mountain village. That’s when the Sin Eater comes. In the tradition of this people who immigrated from the highlands of Wales, a man is chosen by lottery to serve his people by taking their sins upon himself when they die. Forced to live in the mountains, he can only come out when the death bell tolls. The Sin Eater appears at the cemetery, eats the communion elements, speaks easement to the deceased and pawns his own soul in their place. Everyone must look away, for to look into the face of the Sin Eater brings a curse. Cadi is racked by grief at her grandmother’s death and, desperate to have her own sins taken away while she lives, she looks at the Sin Eater. This brazen act sets into motion a search for truth and freedom that will turn the village upside down. When Cadi goes to find the Sin Eater, turning to the man she fears the most for the help she believes only he can give, she begins the unraveling of traditions and the dark secrets of the past are revealed.
Brogan Kai rules the village with an iron fist, and everyone lives in terror of him and his towering anger. When his son Fagan comes to Cadi’s aid, it is more than Brogan can bear. Fearing that the abominations of his own past will come to light, he will stop at nothing to keep the village in his grasp. Like his father, Brogan will try to kill those who stand in his way. The preacher. The Sin Eater. His own son.
What will happen when truth comes looking to take down tradition? Who will survive the monstrous rage of a man bent on keeping the dark secrets of his past covered over? This is the story of “The Last Sin Eater.”
For the first time, this story will be brought to the stage July 8 to 10 at the Paramount Theater in downtown Burlington. You may have read the novel by Francine Rivers, or seen the movie, directed by Michael Landon Jr. and written by Landon and Brian Bird. But you have never seen the play. Hannah Fox adapted the novel for the theater and then obtained permission from Brian Bird and Believe Pictures to bring it to the Paramount for its stage premier. Twenty-five actors and a crew of nearly that many will bring the 1850s story to life. The show is produced by Dan and Doretta Cubino and Act On Ministries, and directed by Hannah and Caleb Fox. The cast includes an assembly of experienced actors and some who will be on stage for the first time. Mia Lundgren plays Cadi’s mother, Fia, and carries the bitterness of a woman who lost a child like she’s been an actress for years. “The last thing I ever wanted was to be on stage, to have people looking at me,” Mia said. “But I see this as a calling to help present this message.”
The July 8 to 10 performances include three evening shows at 7 p.m., and a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. Call the Paramount Theater at 336-222-TIXS (8497) to order your reserved seats.
“The Last Sin Eater” is must-see theater.

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