Dan Posthuma has a storied history in the music industry. He spent 35 years as a producer and executive in Christian music, beginning with his responsibilities as Music Director for Bill Gaither and Amy Grant and continuing as Concert Producer for Gaither's Praise Gathering events and a long list of accomplished artists, including Michael W. Smith, Charlie Daniels, Debby Boone, Clint Black, Marty Stuart, and many others.
As an independent Record Producer, Posthuma is responsible for over 25 #1 radio singles, which earned him several Grammy nominations and 4 Dove Awards. He also served as the Vice President of Artists & Repertoire (A&R) for Word Records in Nashville.
In 2010, he turned his attention to musical theatre. Posthuma joined with partner Mel Riegsecker to form Blue Gate Musicals, which exists to create entertaining, faith-oriented, original musicals. Since their launch, Blue Gate Musicals has enjoyed nine hugely successful Broadway-caliber musicals from the heart of Amish country in several theaters across the country: The Confession, Half-Stitched, Josiah for President, Our Christmas Dinner, The Home Game, Christmas in Paradise, Stolen, Sanctuary, and Christmas Tree Ship. Two more shows are in production for 2020 and 2021, Our Plain & Simple Life and Dear Solider Boy.
Dan lives in Nashville with his wife Sara. They have two children and four grandchildren.
Mel Riegsecker, the eldest son of an Amish family, was born in LaGrange County, Indiana, and grew up on the family farm his parents purchased 2 1/2 miles southeast of Middlebury. Like many Amish families, in addition to farming, Mel’s father had a second occupation; he made and repaired harnesses for the local community. With no desire to go into the family business, Mel went to work in the RV industry.
Drawing on his background, Mel developed a hobby of making miniature horse-drawn vehicles complete with horses and harnesses. Mel’s creations became highly sought after collectibles. In 1980, his hobby became a business. Mel left his job in the RV industry to create the horse-drawn models on a full time basis. June, his wife, was involved in the business from the very beginning. In addition to being a full time mother with two preschool-age children, she also made the clothing for the models on her home sewing machine.
After starting in the garage, a small building was built for the “horse operation”. In 1984, an old factory building was purchased in Shipshewana and given a face-lift. In May of 1984, the Riegseckers moved the horse operation into what is known today as the “The Shipshewana Craft Barn”. June opened a small gift shop in the front of the store where quilts and other handmade items were offered for sale.
From this humble little store, the business grew to encompass the 750-seat Blue Gate Restaurant and Bakery, 350-seat Blue Gate Theatre, 154-room Blue Gate Garden Inn, 3 retail stores, a custom cabinet company, a horse and carriage business, and a catering division.
Mel and June have been married for 43 years and have two children: Kathy (married to Phil) and Ryan Riegsecker (married to Jodi). They have 7 grandchildren. Both children and their spouses are involved in the business.
For over 25 years, Wally Nason has been helping artists, actors, and singers achieve their goals in the arts. After receiving his Master’s degree in music from the University of Arizona, his career path would take him from the public school to the public stage. Wally began as an elementary school music teacher, went on to be a worship leader at a mega-church in his hometown of Tucson, AZ and then spent over a decade with the Continental Singers. As Vice-President of CS, he was responsible for producing live shows and studio projects, recruiting talent for US and international performing tours, and worldwide leadership training for over 50 groups around the globe.
In 2003, Wally and his wife Lori moved to Nashville, TN where Wally would begin his work in the Christian and Country music industry. While managing and producing many award-winning independent artists in Music City, Wally continued to produce the Miss Arizona Pageant and in 2013 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Miss Arizona Scholarship Organization (Miss America Organization) for his work with talented young ladies around the Grand Canyon State.
In 2009, Wally composed his first show for Blue Gate Musicals, and is a part of the creative team that has created nine hit Broadway-caliber musicals from the heart of Amish country. The Confession, Half-Stitched, Josiah for President, Our Christmas Dinner, The Home Game, Christmas in Paradise, Stolen, A Simple Sanctuary, and Christmas Tree Ship that have played to over 700,000 fans around the country.
Wally, Lori and their three kids, Brock, Harper and Quinli live in Franklin, TN where Wally won the 2013 Shining Apple Volunteer award for his work in the schools.
Scriptwriter & Author
Martha Bolton is a prolific author of 88 books, an Emmy nominee (Outstanding Achievement in Music and Lyrics, 1988), a Dove Award nominee (Children's Musical, 1999), and a "with" author on three New York Times bestselling books. She was nominated for a Writers' Guild Award for her work on the Emmy-winning Bob Hope--The First Ninety Years. Martha was Bob's first full-time female staff writer and wrote for his television specials - over 30 hours of prime-time programming and fifteen years of his personal appearances and special events. As a staff writer for Bob Hope, Martha had the opportunity to write for a virtual Who's Who of entertainment and politics. Martha also wrote for Phyllis Diller for many years, crediting Phyllis and Bob Hope writer Gene Perret for launching her Hollywood writing career.
Martha has also written for many Christian comedians such as Mark Lowry (including parodies and co-writing his Piper the Hyper Mouse series), Chonda Pierce, Jeff Allen, and numerous others.
Martha's stage work includes writing the script for The Confession, a musical based on Beverly Lewis' best-selling Confession trilogy. The Confession, which premiered at the Blue Gate Theatre in Shipshewana, Indiana in 2010, has had over 1,000 performances to date. Martha (along with director/composer Wally Nason) also wrote Half-Stitched, based on Wanda Brunstetter's bestselling book, The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club. In 2014, Martha's script for Josiah for President, another hit musical based on her novel of the same name and published by Harper-Collins/Zondervan, was adapted for the stage by Martha, Wally Nason and Dan Posthuma and brought to life at all 3 of our venues in Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
Martha also served as author and playwright for Blue Gate Musicals home run of a hit, The Home Game, that premiered at the Blue Gate Theatre in Shipshewana, IN in 2016. She and writing partner Wally Nason wrote the hit holiday comedy, Our Christmas Dinner, which premiered in Shipshewana in 2015 and played in all three cities in 2016. In 2017, a second holiday show was added to Martha and Wally's list of collaborative creations: a hilariously heart-warming story called Christmas in Paradise. Stolen premiered at the Blue Gate Theatre in Indiana in summer of 2018 and is wowing audiences. Based off of Wanda Brunstetter's Daughters of Lancaster County series, Martha wrote the script and adapted this intriguing story of a 20-year-old kidnapping mystery for the stage and Wally Nason wrote the score.
She continues to create fun, engaging, intense, entertaining and hilarious musicals for Blue Gate including A Simple Sanctuary, Christmas Tree Ship, and currently in production... Our Plain & Simple Life and Dear Solider Boys with more in the works.
She is married to Russ, her high school sweetheart and a retired Los Angeles police sergeant. They are blessed to be the parents of three sons (two adopted and one biological) and are abundantly blessed to be the "Paka" and "Nana" to seven, including a set of twins, and "Great Paka" and "Great Nana" to one.