Christian woman's show to make history in Tri-Cities

RICHLAND, Wash. (KVEW-TV) -- History will be recorded in the Tri-Cities Friday night, for a performance two decades in the making.

Susan Sandager is from Franklin, Kentucky.

“On the Tennessee border, that's where my accent comes from,” she laughs.

Sandager never aspired to be an actress. However, one role called to her: Corrie ten Boom.

The Dutch Christian rescuer helped shelter and protect about 800 Jewish people during the Holocaust in World War II.

Corrie ten Boom was driven by her Christian faith to help people being persecuted in the name of her God.

According to Sandager, Corrie ten Boom was one of the few ‘rescuers.’

“Most people were bystanders, they let it happen,” says Sandager. “So much has been done in the name of Jesus that is offensive and harmful and hurtful.”

Corrie ten Boom was eventually sent to a concentration camp, but lived to tell the tale in her book, Hiding Place.

In the late 90s, Sandager, a Christian herself, decided something needed to be done to help other Christians better understand the Jewish community.

After a year of research on Corrie ten Boom, Sandager wrote a script for a one-woman stage performance. She approached a professional actress, who refused the role, insisting Sandager do it herself.

“[She said] the character demanded a Christian who cared for the Jewish people like I did,” Sandager recalls. “And she said this is your role, you must to do this.”

Corrie and Susan share some unusual likenesses, both the same height, and both helping the disabled.

"I was a mother of a young man with Down Syndrome and I saw that as a sign,” says Sandager “And I just looked heavenward and said ‘I'll try."

Without any acting training, Sandager jumped into the life of Corrie ten Boom.

Carol Darley took notice. She has owned her own video production company in Richland since 1989. For years, Darley and Sandager maintained long-distance contact, as the show traveled around the world.

About a year ago, they decided to make their dream video.

Donors pitched in $25,000, and local volunteers began building the set. Stage space was donated by Faith Assembly Church in Pasco, and five cameras will catch the show in action.