Please join us in commemorating the opening of the McGlothlin Center for the Arts at Emory & Henry College with a celebration of Appalachian Theatre. Academic panels will cover the following topics: Theatre in Appalachia & The Tourist Impulse, Social Activism & Appalachian Theatre, Regional Theatres & Academic Partnerships and Playwrighting & Performance in Appalachia Today. Featured events will include a reading by Robert Gipe, performances by Higher Ground and storyteller Hannah Harvey, and the opening of the E&H Theatre Department’s fall play under the direction of Dr. Kelly Bremner: Catherine Bush’s The Other Side of the Mountain.
- Robert Gipe is the acclaimed author of the illustrated novel Trampoline (2015), the director of the Appalachian Program at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, and one of the producers of Higher Ground, a theatre group presenting musical dramas based on oral histories and community concerns. Born in North Carolina and raised in Kingsport, TN, Gipe is also a faculty coordinator of the Crawdad student arts series and a former marketing and educational services director at Appalshop in Whitesburg, KY.
- Higher Ground, a series of original plays written by the community for the community, will take the main stage at the McGlothin Center for the Arts located on the Emory & Henry College campus for a special ten-year anniversary performance at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 8. Higher Ground is a series of community performances created by local and guest artists and performed by a local cast. With five full-length shows under their belt, Higher Ground has dealt with drug abuse, out migration, land use, community assets, the foggy future before us, and how we are going to bring up these topics and discuss them as community. This special performance will celebrate Higher Ground’s ten-year anniversary, and include local stories, original scenes and music from all five plays in Higher Ground’s rich story-telling history. The script was written by Higher Ground cast members and area high school and community college students. It mixes stories from Harlan County’s dramatic history with scenes exploring the trials and truths people face while living in a small-town community. The play includes dramatic lighting, live music, scenic effects and choreographed movement the likes of which you may never see again. This production of Higher Ground is more community-based than ever. Community members have been hired as writers, directors, choreographers, musicians, artists and lighting designers, as well as several past and present cast members returning. Higher Ground is part of a larger community effort to use the arts to build up the community and revitalize the county coordinated by the Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College Appalachian Program and supported by grants from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts Our Town program, The Chorus Foundation, The Robert E. Frazier Foundation, and Alternate ROOTS.
- Hannah Harvey A native of Northeast Tennessee, Hannah Harvey is a renowned storyteller and a distinguished scholar and teacher. While doing graduate work in performance ethnography and oral history for her doctorate in performance studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Harvey became deeply invested in family and regional tales. As a professor at Kennesaw State, she developed and directed the KSU Tellers storytelling company. Harvey’s current research is on the politics of cultural identity in Appalachia. Her fieldwork with miners from northeast, Tenn., and southwest, Va., will be the basis of her performance at E&H.
- Catherine Bush’s The Other Side of the Mountain directed by E&H Professor Kelly Bremner
All events except the performance of The Other Side of the Mountain are free and open to the public. Tickets for the play may be purchased on the McGlothlin Center for the Arts website for the public or reserved at the Arts Center Box Office for E&H students and employees.
All events carry Lyceum Credit for E&H Students and are open to the public. E&H students and employees receive free admission with reservation. Contact the McGlothlin Center for the Arts Box Office for tickets. 276-944-6331,