William P. Young’s best-selling novel, The Shack, comes to the stage next month in an experimental event exploring new ways of bringing books to life.
Stories From the Shack will feature music, dance, sand painting, aerial artistry and comments from Young and some of the readers whose lives have been touched by his novel. The two-hour presentation, featuring audience interaction, will be “sort of a mash-up of Cirque du Soleil meets Charlie Rose,” says co-producer Jim Henderson.
The idea was inspired by the 100,000-plus emails Young received from people who had been impacted by The Shack, which has sold more than 20 million copies, Henderson said. “I realized that it was not just a book, it was a phenomenon,” he told Christian Retailing.
The production is to debut at the WaMu Theater in Seattle, May 8, with performances also scheduled for San Diego on May 20; Boise, Idaho on June 4 and Denver on June 17. Henderson said that if the four shows—with a budget of around $500,000—are successful, a longer tour could follow.
Sponsored by Promark Financial, the event is being produced by Gary Verrill, founder, president and CEO of Gary Clayton Entertainment and LongRoad Productions. Co-producing Stories From the Shack with Henderson—whose own books include Jim & Casper Go to Church: Frank Conversation About Faith, Churches, and Well-Meaning Christians—is James Rubart, president and CEO of Barefoot Marketing and author of Rooms.
“We believe that when people see this, we will probably be approached by other authors, thinkers, communicators and creators who have either tapped out their own influence or want more creative ways of doing so,” Henderson says.