Richward Wurmbrand’s story brought to life on stage

Canada (MNN) — Voice of the Martyrs Canada is currently taking booking enquiries in Canada for their one-man live stage show called ‘Solitary Refinement’. This performance depicts the imprisonment of Richard Wurmbrand, Voice of the Martyrs’ founder who was jailed and tortured for 14 years in Communist Romania for preaching the Gospel.

‘Solitary Refinement’ is a one-man live stage show depicting the imprisonment of Richard Wurmbrand. (Screen capture courtesy of VOM Canada)

VOM Canada’s CEO Doug Mckenzie says, “We’re taking enquiries now from churches all over Canada, and at this point, we believe we’re going to be able to assemble a tour in Manitoba possibly starting in September. And then we’re looking at a tour in Alberta, and we are also looking at a GTA tour — the Greater Toronto Area tour…. Also, we’re looking down East.

“Ultimately, what we want to do is take this right across the country and try to hit every reasonable-sized region which can support this kind of a presentation. The venues we’re looking for are typically church venues, and we’re not charging the church anything for the performance. We simply take a free-will offering. We’re trying to make this as much about the message and the ministry which comes from the Wurmbrand story as we possibly can.”

Mckenzie says the inspiration for the production came from something he saw when he first joined VOM Canada nearly five years ago.

A performance of ‘Solitary Refinement’. (Screen capture courtesy of VOM Canada)

“I saw an old black-and-white film from the Wurmbrand archives, and it was a depiction of Richard Wurmbrand in his solitary cell speaking to angels and preaching to people who were in adjoining cells and so on. The instant I saw it, I said, ‘This is an ideal topic and setting for a one-man stage show, a live stage show featuring an actor who would be depicting Richard.’”

Mckenzie hopes that sharing Wurmbrand’s story on stage will spiritually challenge and encourage the Church, just as Wurmbrand’s story in print did. After Wurmbrand’s freedom was ransomed by the Lutheran Church, he went to the United States and wrote ‘Tortured for Christ’.

“In 1967…you might say, a revolution took place in the Christian Church in North America which resulted in the selling of, ultimately by now, 10 million books of ‘Tortured for Christ’. It was something everybody was talking about and everybody was moved by, and the Church was electrified by this story,” says Mckenzie.

“I realized that perhaps this would be an opportunity to bring about the kind of enthusiasm and conviction that occurred in 1967. We decided to do that by effectively bringing Richard back to life on stage and then giving him a platform to speak to today’s generation and to re-tell his story.”

So why does Wurmbrand’s testimony of suffering and faithfulness to Christ still strike a chord with Christians decades later?

This moving story of Richard Wurmbrand’s imprisonment and faithfulness to Christ in ‘Solitary Refinement’ still strikes a chord with the Church today. (Screen capture courtesy of VOM Canada)

“The telling of this story, in particular, causes the Church to ask a very important, fundamental question. And the question is simply, ‘Am I willing to die for my faith?’ The stark reality there is that even as we ask that question, there are people today all over the world who are, in fact, dying for their faith.”

Mckenzie goes on to say, “We don’t typically ask ourselves that kind of a question in North America because we don’t think of it in those terms and we’re not confronted by that kind of reality. But if we can turn their heads and their hearts toward that reality, we believe that can be transformative, because that — coming up against the modern day realities of materialism and other things which distract us in the Church — takes us right to the heart of the matter and right to the heart of God who provided His only Son so we might have everlasting life. But there had to be a death and a resurrection for that to happen. And all of those truths are embodied in this particular story.”

Click here to learn more about ‘Solitary Refinement’, or here if you’d like to submit a booking enquiry and invite the production to come to your church in Canada!