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Play offers views of tragic past

I’ve heard the story all of my life. I’ve seen the memorable, historic photo numerous times. I recall several years ago a resident of our county claimed to have a link from the broken chain at that tragic event. But, the hanging of elephant Mary never had a big impact on me until seeing “A Tennessee Walk” at the Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre in Mars Hill, N.C., last week. My good friend Chris Tipton of the Unicoi County Historical Society called me early last week to let me know about the production in case I might be interested in seeing it. Chris and her husband Sam Pinkerton love to browse through Western North Carolina as I do. We have coincidentally stumbled upon each other at a favorite restaurant there several times, so I trust her judgement.

I decided to see the play, but wasn’t sure what to expect. There is nothing worse than going to a low rate production of somewhat believable characters depicted from low rate actors. When that is the case, I feel sad that the cast would spend untold hours on something that wasn’t well developed to begin with. Last week’s show was quite the opposite. In fact, it was a very pleasant surprise. I attended the small, cozy theater located in the heart of the Mars Hill College campus. I climbed the large fl ight of steps to the entrance door and was warmly welcomed by the attendant. There wasn’t
a bad viewing spot in the entire house, but I had reserved a seat center stage, second row back from the front. William Gregg, SART producing artistic director, greeted the small crowd and asked if anyone was there for the first time. I raised my hand. He then asked if anyone was from Erwin, Tennessee. I raised my hand. He said he would be interested in hearing any responses of both good and bad after the production.

For the remainder of this article please pick up the June 25, 2013 edition of The Erwin Record.