JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. – The play, “I Am Home” is a compelling theater piece created from the stories of the people of Jonesborough’s past and present, and features a cast of 70 community members, returns on stage Feb. 23-March 4 at the McKinney Center.
Performance times will be 7:30 p.m. Fridays, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $14 general admission, $12 for seniors and students. Special rates are also available for groups of 15 or more.
The stories in the play are taken from oral histories, and are all based on true events. The vignettes cover a wide range of time periods, to include Jonesborough’s famed Buffalo Soldier, Alfred Martin Rhea; Sidney Smallwoood’s recollections from his grandmother, who was a little girl during the Civil War; Alfred Greenlee’s accounts of Jonesborough’s railroad days, life growing up on Depot Street, and his role in the integration movement of the town’s schools among others.
The play was originally performed in the McKinney Center back in 2011 before it was renovated, as a project initiated by the International Storytelling Center, and later adopted by the Town of Jonesborough. The original intent of the play was to embrace the town’s legacy of storytelling by telling its own story. Jimmy Neil Smith, founder of the National Storytelling Festival, brought in Community Performance International artists Dr. Richard Owen Geer, Jules Corriere, and Iega Jeff, to tell Jonesborough’s story. Composer and lyricist Heather McCluskey and her son, composer Brett McCluskey, were brought in to create five original songs for the show.
After spending a year collecting oral stories from local community members such as Alfred Greenlee, Sidney Smallwood, Nancy Robinson, Sue Henley and nearly 80 others, the play was crafted as a way to bring people together through their shared stories, highlight the important stories of the people who helped shape the community, and provide a sense of pride in community. The original show radiated out in the community in many ways, including the creation of the Yarn Exchange Radio Show, the story-based radio show now in its seventh season.
For tickets and more information, call the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 423-753-1010 or visit www.jonesborough.com/tickets.
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