Henderson County Walk of Fame committee presents “Unwrapping Local History” play Dec. 15-17

From the City of Hendersonville:

Tom Orr and the Walk of Fame committee announce the presentation of “Unwrapping Local History”

A local history play that opens on December 15 and will include the announcement of the Walk of Fame inaugural class. The play will take place on December 15, 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee on December 17 at 2:00 p.m. All performances will be at The Henderson County Historic Courthouse.

The two-act play, compiled and written by Tom E. Orr, is a fundraiser to support the Walk of Fame project initiated this past year.

The Walk of Fame project is jointly supported by the City of Hendersonville and Henderson County, and “Unwrapping Local History” is a part of Hendersonville’s “Home for the Holidays” celebration.  In addition to the play production seventeen Walk of Fame honorees will be named.

Orr had this to say about the play, “History contains many gifts. It’s Christmas time and we unwrap with loving care this present we call Home.”

The play is directed by Pat H. Shepherd and Tom Orr. Local history and heritage are surrounded by music and dance. Kaye Youngblood supervises the screen images that appear throughout the production. She is assisted by Tabitha Brockus and Trish Allen.

Just as a dance can be viewed as a series of steps, joined together; so a lifetime can be understood as a series of ‘time steps.” Orr added.  “In our journey  we will stop to visit people and places, including The Teen-age Canteen, Freeman’s Newsstand and Brock’s Ice Cream Bar.  We will take trips by train, visit the Baker-Barber studios, glimpse the beauty of our mountains, learn the Charleston and the Black Bottom, and much more.”

Live music will be provided by J. Larry KeithRick McMinn, Sandra McMinn and Penny Gash Pearson.  The Courthouse Players are volunteer actors. The cast, in alphabetical order, includes: Richard Brown, Bryan Byrd, Sandee Carpenter, Aiden Freeman, Mia Freeman, Fletch Griffith, Marcia Kelso Mills, Jay Mullinax, Penny Gash Pearson, Ronnie Pepper, Sabrina Sweeney and young student dancers from Pat’s School of Dance.

Sweeney, an HHS teacher of English, portrays Claudia Holt Oates (1872-1965). Mrs. Oates helped start the Hendersonville Woman’s Club in 1915 and supported the development of the Henderson County Curb Market.  Her husband Robert Oates developed the town’s first electric power plant. Mrs. Oates held Christmas parties for needy children where she gave out toys and clothing. The annual event took place in the old City Hall and Opera House but later moved to the 1905 Historic Courthouse.  

Play co-director Pat H. Shepherd is assisted by Sheraton Shepherd Phillips, April Freeman, and Carol Ann Baber Surrette.  Recently-retired teacher Kaye Youngblood is the Stage Manager and directs screen imagery.  She is assisted by Trish Allen and Tabitha Brockus.  John Arnett, Hendersonville Community Theater, is creating the set and designing the lighting.  John Shepherd and Dustin Phillips supervise sound recording and effects. At each performance, audience members will receive a “goodie poke” filled with a candy cane, wrapped candy and fruit.  The “goodie poke” is a mountain tradition.

Tickets are $10 each, and will go on sale December 1st.  Performance  times are 7:30 p.m. December 15 -17.  There will be a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday, December 17. The venue is the Courtroom of the Henderson County Historic Courthouse. Play tickets can be purchased  from the Tourism Development Authority by calling 828-693-9708 or in its Visitor Information Center at 201 S. Main St. Hendersonville.

The five-member Walk of Fame Steering Committee members are Chairman Orr, Vice-chair Virginia Gambill, Michael Edney, Dr. Amy Pace, and Kaye Youngblood. The Committee began work on December 15, 2015. Incidentally, December 15 is the date back in 1838 when Henderson County was created.

For more information contact: Tom E. Orr at 828-606-6874

About Max Hunt
Max Hunt grew up in South (New) Jersey and graduated from Warren Wilson College in 2011. History nerd; art geek; connoisseur of swimming holes, hot peppers, and plaid clothing. Follow me @J_MaxHunt

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