Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – The Theatre


My life in Appalachia - The Theatre

Over 1200 elementary students recently watched a professional theatre show at a college in Appalachia.


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.

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  • Reply
    May 12, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Back in the day every year the senior class was responsible for a play of their choice towards the end of the school year and counted as best I can remember 25% of your grad, admission was I think .50 and the money was donated to the school library, all the classes were invited on different days, and it was always a hit.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    May 12, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    We are blessed to have a playhouse here in East Tennessee…We have seen so many there I can’t count. From musical comedies to traveling plays…like “Cats! When something we think the grandchildren will enjoy (“Shrek the Musical”) and can get all of us together at the same time we buy tickets and take them. They love to see the live performances. Of course we have season tickets to Dollywood and there is usually someone preforming there all the time sometimes several shows with major artists. The kids love to go with us there as well as see the different venues…like during the Barbque and Bluegrass festival…Homecoming and Gospel shows are all entertaining with some famous singers live onstage etc.
    If anyone ever gets this way…there are three stages at the Cumberland Mountain Playhouse and always something most rated PG…going on. From individual artists, plays, etc. Here is their website address to see the yearly schedule and rates for each performance. You can purchase tickets well in advance and we have never had a change in performance times in all the years we have gone. Their most famous play is of course…”Smoke on the Mountain” a wonderful family heritage play.
    One of the last plays we saw and was a musical comedy PG called “The Sparkley Clean Funeral Singers”….so funny and the kids loved it. Touched lightly on death and also on funeral plans and funny circumstances surrounding preparations for the funeral singers.
    Here is their web address… and also their phone number (931) 494-5000
    A tremendous amount of people visiting East Tennessee take in the plays at the playhouse!
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…One of the most famous plays we saw was “Evita” in Chicago when husband had a business trip. Never got to see any New York….However, just as soon see the plays here traveling or otherwise at the local playhouses or UT…

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    May 12, 2017 at 11:38 am

    I’m glad to see Ken is back! I certainly missed his input.
    Remember the line in Shakespeare’s “As You Like It”, “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players.” I suppose, if Willy was right, we are all performers in a great extravaganza. Shakespeare didn’t write the play he describes but I know who did. I know Him personally!

  • Reply
    May 12, 2017 at 11:02 am

    I’m back and glad of it, I missed The Blind Pig and the Acorn so much. I got my computer fixed at Computer Workshop after being hacked. The technician installed Windows 10 after he got it open again and nothing looks like it did before. I’m having to learn again. ha.
    Congradulations to Chitter and Chatter on graduating at Young Harris College. I feel like they are my girls too and I’m Proud of ’em!
    I have missed all my friends and those “r” rolling Devils won’t never be trusted again! …Ken

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    May 12, 2017 at 10:22 am

    I have never in all my born days seen a professional stage play. I went to a stage performance one time in Daytona Beach and watched Jimmy Swaggart sing and play the piano and preach. (That was back before his fall from grace.) There had been no admission fee but when is was over they passed some white buckets around for contributions. I had not been blessed, so to speak, therefore just handed the bucket on over. But anyway, when we trying to find our way back out, we opened the wrong door and stepped into a rather large room where several men had brought all those white buckets and were sorting the money. I have never see so much cash in my life. I said something like “Oops!” or “Excuse us!” or something to that effect but what had immediately come to mind was a line from the nursery rhyme Sing a Song of Sixpence – “The king was in the counting house counting out his money.”
    Ain’t it amazing that a one line post from you would bring back such a flood of memories.

  • Reply
    May 12, 2017 at 9:20 am

    I love to see this! My school didn’t do many field trips, as a matter of fact, I recall only one! But it was to a theatre, to see Macbeth. Funny thing is, I don’t remember our class preparing by reading Macbeth, although I suppose we must have? And I don’t remember anything about the play, apart from the feeling of being in the theatre as the house lights went down and the stage came alive. But I have to think that one experience sowed the seeds that made theatre one of my most treasured luxuries. I saw many plays at Shakespeare and Company, in Lenox, MA, and was riveted every time. Haven’t been in several years now, since it’s a 2-hour drive each way which is pretty rough on the joints, but maybe one day it will be back on my “things I can do” list, and I will again feel that thrill as the house lights go down 🙂

  • Reply
    May 12, 2017 at 8:47 am

    All three children were active in theater in High school. One of the boys majored in theater while the other son was active in theatrical productions throughout his undergrad and graduate studies. My daughter concentrated on the dance and art aspects but at 6ft 2in ultimately focused on scenic work. Now, two granddaughters are involved in the theatrical world, one as an actress and one as a make-up artist. Personally – music was my thing – but watching my children and grandchildren learn to take responsibility for learning their lines because it was important for the group not to mention exercising the mental discipline required to learn their lines as well are part of character and academic development. Daughter has worked in the scenic departments from the NY met to movies to advertising sets – she has learned chemistry as she created various visual effects and has become quite the renaissance woman with her carpentry, electrical, and (yes) plumbing skills through her work in the theater. Son two rarely works in the theater these days but it provided him with a wide set of friends crossing the boundaries of theoretical math and the performance arts – he now applies some of his performance skills when he joins other musicians on their guitars. Son 1 now teaches theater and is responsible running the theaters at 2 high schools as well as taking care of theatrical needs throughout the school district. Most importantly, he provided guidance for kids who feel more free to be themselves in a theatrical setting. He encourages the development of those same character traits (responsibility, academic focus, cooperation & collaboration) and skills (math, physics, and chemistry are used throughout set production; carpentry, sound and lighting effects, electrical work, art perspective and illusion for example) which he developed as a youth and young adult involved in theater. Then there are the lessons learned: theater can give history lessons or simply make people more aware of political and social issues. The stories can give the audience members relief from the real world or give them insights into themselves. Good actors and actresses, writers, directors, set designers must be good observers so that the nuances of word, movement, interaction, and visuals draw the audience into the experience. Students can apply these lessons in jobs from advertising, to the legal world, to police work, to legal work, to teaching, and so many other places they probably don’t even realize they are using their theatrical skills.
    By now your readers have probably guessed two things: I’m very proud of my kids (seems appropriate to mention this as we approach Mother’s Day) and I am a strong proponent of the arts in school. As fond as I am of music (which also plays a huge part in the theatrical world) theater offers the most wholistic and inclusionary setting for students to develop and apply their academic skills and to grow as individuals.
    I hope even a few of those students watching the performance at the college are inspired to pursue theater (or music or art) for some part of their academic career. It truly is a window, a microscope, and a telescope on the world around us.

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    May 12, 2017 at 8:08 am

    I think these programs and outreaches are great. My experience is more low-brow, but, when I was in elementary school we had some professional wrestlers come to school to do a show. I can’t remember who they were, but they were big in my Dad’s day. My Dad was so excited he volunteered to help set up the gym so he could meet the main wrestler. My Dad was in his late 20s at this time…still a kid, I guess.
    The long and short of it is, my Dad met his hero and the wrestler came to our house for supper. Then, my Dad got to be a “heel.” They asked him to be part of the show. He heckled the good guy and then got pulled into the match. I found out, then, that professional wrestling was staged but my Dad was awesome. He still talks about that.
    I guess culture is where you find it!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 12, 2017 at 7:06 am

    That’s wonderful! Remember when Chitter and Chatter were little and we took them to some live performances in Asheville at the Asheville community theatre and in Hendersonville at the Flat Rock Playhouse. I think you and I were more excited than they were!

  • Reply
    Eldonna Ashley
    May 12, 2017 at 5:00 am

    A teacher took me to a private college to se a college performance of Androcles and the Lion. I was mesmerized by the play, lighting, all of it. The backstage crew, dressed in black and adjusting props for each scene, was also mind boggling.
    Seeing that performance literally changed my life. I am thrilled the kids got to see a professional performance.

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