Northwestern theatre company to perform "Iowa Ethiopia"

Drama Ministries Ensemble membersNorthwestern College’s Drama Ministries Ensemble (DME) theatre company will perform “Iowa Ethiopia” in three area venues in February and March: at Northwestern College’s DeWitt Theatre on Friday, Feb. 14, at 4 p.m.; at First Reformed Church, Sioux Center, on Sunday, Feb. 16, at 6 p.m.; and at Trinity Reformed Church, Orange City, on Sunday, March 22, at 6 p.m. The performances are free and open to community members.

The play is drawn from the journals of Arlene Schuiteman, a former missionary nurse who is currently in her 90s and living in Sioux Center. “Iowa Ethiopia” tells the story of Schuiteman’s ministry between 1966 and 1977 as she helped open a “dresser school” in the city of Mettu, teaching wound care and other medical skills to Ethiopian health care workers.

During those years, Schuiteman witnessed a spiritual revival that swept through Ethiopia—a revival that touched her personally and resulted in surprising gifts of the Holy Spirit in her own life.

“Iowa Ethiopia” was scripted by Northwestern theatre professor Jeff Barker and is a sequel to “Sioux Center Sudan,” a play about Schuiteman’s first overseas assignment. Barker has also written two books about Schuiteman’s life, both titled the same as the plays. Copies of “Iowa Ethiopia” will be available for purchase after the performance.

Earlier this school year, the DME performed “Iowa Ethiopia” during a tour in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in December and at the Calvin Worship Symposium at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Mich.

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Regarded as one of the best Christian college theatre programs in the country, Northwestern’s features a collaborative, excellence-oriented environment committed to helping students develop their creative gifts for service in God’s kingdom. Study with Northwestern’s award-winning faculty in the outstanding facilities of DeWitt Theatre Arts Center.