Affiliated Networks


Forum

Interview with Gail Godwin about Grief Cottage

Started by Rob Neufeld in AC-T Book Reviews Aug 3, 2017.

Ellington in Asheville--a survey

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Oct 6, 2017.

Dave Minneman, heroic portrait

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Aug 25, 2017.

Badge

Loading…

Latest Activity

Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

The Tale of Ononis

The Tale of Ononis by Rob Neufeld Part 1: The Making of a Celebrity ❧  Hare Begins His Tale  Ononis was my region’s name.People now call it Never-the-same.I’ll start with the day a delivery came. The package I got was a devil’s dare,Swaddled and knotted in Swamp Bloat hairAnd bearing, in red, one word: “Beware!” Bloats are creatures from the Land of Mud Pies,Wallowing in waste with tightly closed eyesUntil fears bring tears and the bleary bloats rise.   ❧  Hare’s Colleagues  I asked my boss,…See More
Friday
Connie Regan-Blake posted an event

Drop Your Troubles: A Solo Storytelling Performance with Connie Regan-Blake at Black Mountain Center for the Arts

December 1, 2018 from 7:30pm to 9pm
Join this internationally renowned storyteller, Connie Regan-Blake, as she transforms a packed theater into an intimate circle of friends with old-timey charm, wisdom, and humor. We’ll also welcome the Singer of  Stories, Donna Marie Todd, who will perform her original story, “The Amazing Zicafoose Sisters.” Connie’s last two shows at BMCA have sold…See More
Nov 6
Connie Regan-Blake updated an event
Thumbnail

Explore the Landscapes of Story and Telling at Lenoir-Rhyne Center for Graduate Studies

January 23, 2019 at 10am to February 27, 2019 at 12pm
A Storytelling Offering in Asheville, NCWednesday Mornings 10am-12pmJanuary 23 – February 27, 2019 This winter Connie is excited to offer a learning opportunity to warm-up your storytelling voice and creativity!  Join her in Asheville, NC at Lenoir-Rhyne University for six story-work sessions with a weekly format that allows for skills to grow over time while encouraging a consistency in discovering, revisiting and refining your stories. During these weekly sessions participants are invited…See More
Nov 6
Connie Regan-Blake posted an event
Thumbnail

Explore the Landscapes of Story & Telling at Lenoir-Rhyne Center for Graduate Studies

January 23, 2019 at 10am to February 27, 2019 at 12pm
A Storytelling Offering in Asheville, NCWednesday Mornings 10am-12pmJanuary 23 – February 27, 2019 This winter Connie is excited to offer a learning opportunity to warm-up your storytelling voice and creativity!  Join her in Asheville, NC at Lenoir-Rhyne University for six story-work sessions with a weekly format that allows for skills to grow over time while encouraging a consistency in discovering, revisiting and refining your stories. During these weekly sessions participants are invited…See More
Oct 28
Connie Regan-Blake updated an event
Thumbnail

Connie Regan-Blake presents A Slice of Life: An Evening of Stories at Black Mountain Center for the Arts

April 6, 2019 from 7:30pm to 9pm
Join nationally celebrated storyteller, Connie Regan-Blake, as she hosts her workshop participants in an enchanting evening of storytelling in “A Slice of Life: An Evening of Stories.” The event will be hosted by the Black Mountain Center for the Arts, just a short drive from Asheville nestled in the picturesque mountains surrounding the area. Call the Center for advance tickets (828) 669-0930 or order…See More
Oct 28
Connie Regan-Blake updated an event
Thumbnail

Connie Regan-Blake's Taking Your Story to the Stage Workshop at StoryWindow Productions

April 5, 2019 to April 7, 2019
The focus of this “Taking Your Story to the Stage” 3-day workshop is on storytelling performance. Each participant is asked to come with a story that is almost “stage-ready.” Set in Connie’s home tucked in the beautiful mountains surrounding Asheville, NC, this workshop provides a supportive, affirming…See More
Oct 28
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Let’s say every word is precious

Let’s say every word is precious (Part of Living Poem) Let’s say every word is precious.Say every word is precious.Every word is precious.Every word precious.Every word.Word.--Rob Neufeld, Oct. 16, 2018See More
Oct 17
Rob Neufeld posted discussions
Oct 12
Nancy Sutton replied to Rob Neufeld's discussion Metamorphoses
"Poignant in so many ways!   "
Oct 3
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Metamorphoses

Metamorphoses (Part of Living Poem)Hear audio: Metamorphoses%20181004_0192.MP3 So Apollo committed the first rape.He’d come back from exterminating Python,The Bane of Humanity, now his arrow-victim,And stopped to mock…See More
Oct 2
Joan Henehan replied to Joan Henehan's discussion on Reading Living Poem
"Fantastic, that will be very helpful."
Sep 22
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

First Drumbeat

First Drumbeat(Part of Living Poem) The time has come.Call it a drum,Or a crumb,What’s left of life. I used to tell a jokeWhen my life was wide,And I was a stud,And not a dud—I knowI’m not a dud.  I’m a dude,A dad.  But everyone mustRebut the dud chargeAt summing up time. Oh yeah, the joke,A trademark one for meIn that it’s not funny. I used to say I’ll never retireFrom writingBecause if I’m ever…See More
Sep 22
Rob Neufeld replied to Joan Henehan's discussion on Reading Living Poem
"Thanks for the prompt, Joan!  I have attached the whole work in progress as a doc at the bottom of the table of contents page: http://thereadonwnc.ning.com/special/living-poem"
Sep 22
Joan Henehan replied to Joan Henehan's discussion on Reading Living Poem
"Is there a way from this website to print everything or might you send me such a document to bayjh@icloud.com?"
Sep 22
Julia Nunnally Duncan posted an event
Thumbnail

Julia Nunnally Duncan at Marion Branch McDowell County Public Library

October 24, 2018 from 4pm to 5pm
Julia Nunnally Duncan will be launching her new poetry collection A Neighborhood Changes (Finishing Line Press, 2018) at a book presentation and signing to be held at the McDowell County Public Library in Marion on October 24.See More
Sep 21
Rob Neufeld replied to Joan Henehan's discussion on Reading Living Poem
"This could be interesting--thanks!  I'm at 828-505-1973 (my home business office).  And RNeufeld@charter.net."
Sep 20

A Boone drama inspired a theater of dreams in Arden

by Rob Neufeld

 

PHOTO CAPTION: Paul Trueblood, General Manager of the “Thunderbird” production, on the phone, drumming up business.  Photo by June Glenn, Asheville Citizen-Times, 1952.  

          “Forest Amphitheater, nine miles south of Asheville, will become one of the most popular entertainment centers in Western North Carolina,” George McCoy wrote about the new venue in the booklet for the premiere of “Thunderland: The Story of Daniel Boone.”

            Outdoor drama had been big in North Carolina since 1937, when “The Lost Colony” was staged in 1937 in Waterside Theatre on Roanoke Island.

            In 1950, “Unto These Hills” began attracting crowds with its pageant of Cherokee history in Cherokee; and, in 1952, “Horn in the West” dramatized Revolutionary War events on the Daniel Boone Amphitheatre stage in Boone.

            “Horn in the West” still runs, as does “Unto These Hills” with a 2006 rewrite to represent Cherokee culture more accurately (for instance, ballet-style dances were replaced by authentic Cherokee ones).

            The script for “Thunderland” also betrayed a colonist’s skew, and cast white people as Indians.  It built up to the second of two acts, which opens with the mourning of Daniel Boone’s son, James, tortured to death by Indians opposed to the settlement of Kentucky; and proceeded to the sale of Kentucky to Richard Henderson, Boone’s new employer.

            Henderson’s purchase of territory between the Kentucky and Cumberland Rivers had been based on a sham agreement with the British government.  However, as Robert Morgan writes in his biography, “Boone,” “Henderson knew the value of precedent and primary claim...(and) once he had attracted thousands of settlers by selling them  parcels of land at bargain prices, who was to get him out of Kentucky?”

            Henderson’s portrayal in “Thunderland” is less cynical.

           

Manifest destiny

 

            Outdoor drama suited the epic way America thought of itself in 1952.  The manifest destiny of its founding years matched the international expansionism of the post-World War II period.

            Boone, despite being Henderson’s tool, was a larger-than-life and sympathetic figure, whom the Indians loved.  His triumphs and tragedies were practically Biblical.

            “Destiny pointed a dramatic finger at Daniel Boone’s cradle; even on the day of his birth,” “Thunderland” playwright Hubert Hayes wrote in his “Story of the Play.” 

            Boone’s mother, Sarah, “a devout Quaker, had turned to the Bible, to find a name for him,” and had come upon this passage in the Book of Daniel: “And he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.”

            Hayes was not only full of American folk pride, he was an Appalachian spokesperson, born in West Asheville.  His first play, “Tight Britches,” about a Great Smoky Mountains community, opened in Asheville in 1933 and went to Broadway the next year.  He served as the manager of the Asheville City Auditorium from 1945 to 1954.

 

Mountain music

 

            The 1950s was a gateway year for tourism in this region.  In 1952, the Cherokee built its historic village; and Hugh Morton purchased Grandfather Mountain.

            Colleges and universities began instituting Appalachian studies programs.  Southern Appalachia represented, to promoters and appreciators alike, an unspoiled English-Scots culture and an area in need of economic uplift and investment.

            For the music for “Thunderland,” Hayes collaborated with Lamar Stringfield, who, in 1928, had been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his orchestral suite, “From the Southern Mountains.” 

            Stringfield, like Hayes, had many Asheville connections.  Born in Raleigh, he moved with his family to this region at age five, his father serving as pastor of churches in Barnardsville, Burnsville, and Asheville before establishing a permanent home in Mars Hill.

            Stringfield attended Mars Hill College; and, after service in World War I, studied flute and music with Emil Medicus and Joseph DiNardo in Asheville.  After further studies in New York and Paris, and after his Pulitzer, he returned to North Carolina and organized the North Carolina Symphony.

            He is credited with composing the music for Paul Green’s “The Lost Colony.”  The “Thunderland” score was a late career masterpiece.

            The local production was also a fundraising boon for “the college in the sky,” Asheville-Biltmore College, precursor of UNC Asheville.

            Perched atop Sunset Mountain on Fred Seely land, it was looking to grow out of its junior college function and become a four year liberal arts college.

            Sunset Mountain Attractions, Inc. was formed, with former mayor Clarence E. Morgan as president; and, “after inspection of a number of proposed sites,” McCoy wrote, “a 61-acre tract was leased from Biltmore Estate.  On a portion of this tract, at the northwest intersection of Long Shoals Road and the French Broad River, the Forest Amphitheater has been built.  Surrounded by the forest, provision was made to seat 2,300 spectators.”

            Escape to the forest remains a driving force in people’s lives, as does a feeling of not having enough “elbow room,” to use Boone’s phrase, and being under siege.

            “Thunderland” ends with three scenes titled, “Attack!”; “Victory”; and “Daniel and Rebecca Boone’s departure further west.”

            For lack of funding, the drama lasted just one more year.  Forest Amphitheater no longer exists, though its parking area access road has become Thunderland Circle, serving Sunshine Chevrolet.

            A copy of the script of “Thunderland” is held in the North Carolina Collection at Pack Memorial Library.

 

Views: 82

Reply to This

© 2018   Created by Rob Neufeld.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

UA-124288772-1