mvenus929 (mvenus929) wrote,

Historical Roots

Courtesy of the MAA and the NAA*, we did a few 'cultural' activities on Friday and Saturday evening. The first activity was heading to Big Stone Gap (about 20 or so miles from Wise) to attend an outdoor theater production. It was held behind the June Tolliver Playhouse, where the character of June Tolliver stayed while in school in Big Stone Gap.

The Trail of the Lonesome Pine is the longest continually running outdoor theater in Virginia, and is based on the book of the same name by John Fox, Jr. It's been running since 1964.

The play tells the story of June Tolliver, the daughter of Devil Judd Tolliver, head of one of the most influential families in the area at the time. The play begins amist an ongoing feud between the Tollivers and the Falins. John Hale enters the scene, promising riches from the coal that has recently been found in the area. John convinces Devil Judd to let June go to 'the Gap' to attend school, which sets in motion a series of events that lead June to New York to study music, leaving her family back home in Appalacia.

Part of the second act is a trial (brought on by the feud, of course), and the cast members bring up men from the audience to serve as jury members. A couple of my classmates were fortunate enough to be chosen to go.

It wasn't the best play I've seen, by any means, but it was done well and it was nice to get to know a little more of the history of the area while we were there.

*Medical Alumni Association and Nursing Alumni Association
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