Appalachian Festival of Plays & Playwrights is Telling Black Stories
February 23 @ 7:00 pm - February 26 @ 4:00 pm
Presented by Barter Theatre, this year’s AFPP kicks off on Thursday, February 23, and runs for four days, featuring Barter’s resident acting company members reading new plays in development by six winning playwrights, who were selected from hundreds of submissions. n the Festival’s final day, Sunday, February 26th, audiences can enjoy a special curation of Black stories.
Hooten Holler by Ketch Secor
Thursday, February 23rd, 7pm
Shy, unassuming, 20-year-old Wiley Young has never been far from his home in Hooten Holler, where he runs the general store with his father. All that’s about to change, however, when a mysterious man visits the holler and Wiley discovers something he never knew about himself: the boy can play! Armed with his mother’s banjo and dreams of stardom, Wiley makes it all the way to Music City, USA where he learns that the cost of making it to the top of the charts may be more than he’s willing to pay. A brand-new, honky-tonk musical fable by Ketch Secor, founding member of the Grammy award-winning Old Crow Medicine Show.
Trouble (at the Vista View Mobile Home Estates) by Audrey Cefaly
Friday, February 24th, 1pm
Struggling, ex-mill worker Euba has expressly told her mother, Bernie, that she does not want a birthday party. But Lila, Fin and her new friend YoYo have different ideas. As the birthday hour approaches, Euba is visited by a raven, sending her spiraling in search for answers to the untimely death of her father. This all-female story traverses the landscape of family ties, mental illness, addiction, and the trials and tribulations of motherhood.
The Coffin Maker by Phil Keeling
Friday, February 24th, 4pm
Jack Tracker, the patriarch of a family in rural Appalachia, hasn’t left his home in over 20 years due to an archaic blood feud. When a young university student approaches him in order to tell the story of his self-imposed prison, she will uncover his past, his secrets, and the truth behind a man who has emotionally and physically controlled his tiny family despite being entirely at their mercy.
Grandma Gatewood Took A Walk by Catherine Bush
Saturday, February 25th, 1pm
In 1955, sixty-seven-year-old Emma “Grandma” Gatewood called her eldest daughter and told her she was “going for a walk”. What she forgot to mention was that the walk would encompass all 2,050 miles of the Appalachian Trail. As we join Emma on her adventure, we relive with her the hills and valleys, obstacles and detours of her life that led her to make history as the first woman to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail.
A Thing of Beauty by D.W. Gregory
Saturday, February 25th, 4pm
The leading citizens of a stuffy seaside resort are thrown into an uproar when an anonymous nude takes first prize in the community’s art competition. As local gossips speculate about exactly whose bare butt is depicted in the painting, Mrs. Bouffant, the competition’s sponsor, lobbies the judges to choose a more appropriate winner. But her quest is upended when she discovers that an influential New York art critic is summering on the Cape—and has taken an undue interest in the prize-winner.
The Transported Man by Russell Nichols
Sunday, February 26th, 1pm
Based on a true story, The Transported Man is a two-act magic show, a surreal retelling of the journey of Henry “Box” Brown, who shipped himself from slavery in Virginia to freedom in Pennsylvania in a wooden box. Henry’s incredible story explores themes of survival, grief and the search for redemption. It is about the surreal horrors of human bondage — and the tragic cost of breaking free.