Parkway Playhouse Presents "Ghost Riders", A Civil War Epic
Parkway Playhouse’s 68th Season Continues on June 7 with the premiere of a sweeping stage adaptation of New York Times Bestselling Author, Sharyn McCrumb’s Ghost Riders. Set against the backdrop of the Appalachian Mountains during and since the American Civil Way, this produictin opens on June 7 at 7:30pm and continuing through June 21 with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sunday June 8 and Sunday June 15 at 3:00pm. All performances will be held in the historic Parkway Playhouse theatre located at 202 Green Mountain Drive in Burnsville, NC.
Tickets for Ghost Riders are $20 for adults, $18 for Senior/Military/Student, and $10 for children (under 18). Advance tickets may be purchased at Parkway Playhouse’s secure website at
www.parkwayplayhouse.com, or through Parkway Playhouse’s Box Office Thursdays
through Saturdays from 1:00-5:00pm and one hour prior to performances (828.682.4285). Tickets will also be available at the door. There will be a complimentary reception at the theatre following the opening night performance on June 7.
Sharyn McCrumb is an award-winning Southern writer, best known for her Appalachian "Ballad" novels, including the New York Times best sellersThe Ballad of Frankie Silver and She Walks These Hills, and for St. Dale, winner of a Library of Virginia Award and featured at the National Festival of the Book.
In 2008 the Library of Virginia named Sharyn McCrumb a Virginia Woman of History for Achievement in Literature.
McCrumb, who has been involved in helping adapt her 2003 novel for the stage, which spans interwoven, timelines, and follows a number of characters as they experience the full effect of their involvement in the Civil War as well as its devastating aftermath in the Appalachians; will be making multiple appearances to promote the production and sign copies of the book.
In addition to the performance, a book-signing event with Sharyn McCrumb will be held at Parkway Playhouse from 3:00pm to 5:00pm on June 7.
She is also holding a signing on June 5 at Market on Oak loacated at 262 Oak Street in Spruce Pine, NC from 5:00-7:00pm.
Ms. McCrumb will also be making an appearance at the Zebulon Vance Birthplace, located at 911 Rheems Creek Road in Weaverville, NC.
Ghost Riders follows a number of fascinating characters. Some are drawn from actual mountain area history, like Malinda Blalock (portrayed by WNC Theatre luminary Trinity Smith), a young mountain woman whose husband, Keith (Asheville-based actor Scott Keel, who dazzled Parkway audiences in A A Few Good Men in 2013), was forced to enlist in the Confederate army. Malinda then disguised herself as a boy and went with him to war. Discharged by fooling a military doctor, it isn't long before the Confederacy wants Keith to take up arms again, and he does, only this time it is as a bushwhacker for the Union. With not many people left to trust in a war that has pitted brother against brother, the couple head for high ground to avoid the county militia, and soon become hard-riding, deadly outlaws who avenge the deaths of their kin and neighbors at the hands of the Rebels.
Over a hundred years later, in Eastern Tennessee a local Civil War re-enactors' group is planning a mock battle. Most of the local men who participate in the re-enactments prefer to fight on the Confederate side, and most of them are unaware that in all likelihood their mountain ancestors may have favored the Union. Rattler (Parkway Playhouse regular, Michael Lilly), an old mountain root doctor who has the “Sight” speaks for the present, fearing that the zeal of the re-enactors will awaken the restless spirits of soldiers still wandering the mountains and still fighting the war. There is also the enigmatic Nora Bonesteel, a popular character who appears in several of McCrumb’s books and is portrayed by WNC-based actor Jennifer Russ.
The production is being directed by Parkway Playhouse Artistic Director, Andrew Gall, who also adapted the play from the novel. The cast also includes: Rose Ray, Frances Davis, Logan Bryant, Logan Walden, Jered Shults, Levi Bradford, Adam McCoury, Ryan Robertson, Will Storrs, Legend McCoury, and Izzy Davis. Parkway Playhouse staples Rob Storrs, Bruce Chuvala, and Jenny Martin appear in supporting roles.
Parkway Playhouse’s production of Ghost Riders is made possible by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council and is being sponsored by Sunset Gatherings. Additional support for Parkway Playhouse’s 2014 season comes from WKYK/WTOE, the Blumenthal Foundation, and the Mountain Air Community Residents Fund.
For more information about tickets, performances, classes, camps, auditions, and volunteer opportunities; please contact Parkway Playhouse at 828-682-4285 or visit www.parkwayplayhouse.com.