Sting and the Amish Meet in Fields of Gold: The Music of Sting

By Elspeth Sweatman 

Poster for A.C.T.'s 2016 production of  
Fields of Gold: The Music of Sting
“To stare into an uncertain future with strength, excitement, wonder, and fear.” That is the quest at the heart of Fields of Gold: The Music of Sting, A.C.T.’s  Young Conservatory show which opens next week. Using 30 years of the singer’s music, this play tells the unique story of a group of Amish and non-Amish teenagers coming of age in LaGrange, Indiana.

The music of Sting and the world of the Amish rumspringa—a period when Amish teens are freed from their strict religious rules—may seem like chalk and cheese, but to creator and co-director Craig Slaight these worlds address the same universal questions: What does it mean to be a modern teenager? How does our sense of personal identity and morality evolve during this time? How can we embrace the future with courage, faith, and understanding?

Just like the YC’s previous show Top of the Pyramid, Fields of Gold: The Music of Sting is about a specific group of teens in small-town America. But the themes it explores are larger than that. “Although my story is about a fictional mixed group of Amish and non-Amish kids,” says Slaight, “it could easily be about two groups of ethnically diverse teens, or teens from two different countries.”

Fields of Gold: The Music of Sting is the next installment in the Young Conservatory’s series of theatrical tributes to modern composers, following last year’s I’m Still Standing: A Celebration of the Music of Elton John (also written and directed by Slaight).

Fields of Gold: The Music of Sting runs at A.C.T.’s Strand Theater from August 16–27. Click here to purchase tickets.

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