Outlander: A piece of Smoky Mountain history returns to the stage

 

Press release from Asheville Community Theatre: 

Outlander by Gary Carden is scheduled for three matinee performances by The Autumn Players of Asheville Community Theatre (ACT): Friday and Saturday March 24th & 25th in 35below at ACT and Sunday March 26th, 2017 at UNC Asheville’s Reuter Center. Curtain is at 2:30 for all three performances. All tickets are $6.00 and are available online at ashevilletheatre.org, by phone at 828-254-1320 or in person at the Asheville Community Theatre box office. Any remaining tickets will be sold by cash only at the door beginning at 2:00 pm prior to each performance.

Directed by Marianne Lyon and in partnership with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UNC Asheville, this is an extra production in the 2016-17 season of The Autumn Players’ Readers Theatre Showcase series.

A piece of Smoky Mountain history will come to the stage again in an encore reader’s theatre presentation of Outlander, written by award-winning storyteller Gary Carden, with mountain music by William Ritter. The play tells the story of the creation of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and deals with the controversies and conflicts between longtime mountain residents and the “outsiders” who advocated preservation through establishment of national park lands.

Playwright Gary Carden, a native of Sylva, NC, is a collector of Appalachian and Cherokee folklore, a professional storyteller, and was a long-time columnist for the Smoky Mountain News. He received the North Carolina Arts Council Award for Literature in 2012 and the Brown-Hudson Folklore Award in 2006. His books include Appalachian Bestiary (Gary Carden, 2013), Mason Jars in the Flood & Other Stories (Parkway Publishers, 2000) and Belled Buzzard, Hucksters & Grieving Spectres: Strange & True Talks of the Appalachian Mountains (Down Home Press, 1994).

Musician William Ritter is a native of Bakersville, NC and an alum of Western Carolina University. He graduated with a degree in Technical Theatre, but spent much of his time in school studying the musical folk traditions of Western North Carolina. Currently, William is attending Appalachian State, where he is enrolled in the University’s Appalachian Studies Graduate Program. William plays banjo, fiddle, guitar, and other “string-ed things.” He is particularly interested in old apple trees and mountain humor—ever eager to swap lies, half-truths, jokes, and seeds.

Director Marianne Lyon acted in and directed numerous full-stage productions in her previous theatre life in Houston, Texas. She also served on the Board of Directors of The Company OnStage. She is currently a member of the play reading committee of The Autumn Players. Marianne appeared in last season’s production of Alan Ayckbourn’s Table Manners and most recently played Lily Dale in Horton Foote’s Young Man from Atlanta.

The Autumn Players is ACT’s volunteer outreach group consisting of over 100 seasoned actors writers and educators dedicated to taking theatre into the community. Since 1992, the company has provided entertainment, enrichment and instruction for thousands of students, seniors, and in-betweens at venues within an hour or more from Asheville.

For more information or for a full schedule of the 2016-17 Reader’s Theatre Showcase series, please visit ashevilletheatre.org.

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