The Theater of the American South will open its 2011 season on May 12th, with The Civil War in Song & Legend, written and performed by critically acclaimed American troubadour Bill Schustik. The Civil War in Song & Legend will also play May 14, 15, 19, 21, 22, 26, 28, and 29 at the Edna Boykin Cultural Center in Wilson, NC.
The Civil War (1861-65) — or the War of Northern Aggression, as some of us call it hereabouts — celebrates its sesquicentennial in 2011, so it is fitting that it will take center stage during the Theater of the American South’s annual festival of Southern plays, food, and culture, which also features performances of Shiloh Rules, Los Angeles playwright Doris Baizley’s offbeat comedy/drama about Civil War re-enactors at Shiloh, on May 13-15, 20-22, and 27-29 in the Lauren Kennedy and Alan Campbell Theatre at Barton College in Wilson.
According to the Theater of the American South:
“The Civil War in Song & Legend … offers a highly entertaining musical reconstruction of the War …. In addition, Theater of the American South will launch an antiques show showcasing over 25 dealers from around the Southeast May 13-15.
“Bill Schustik has performed for several Presidents and mounted a full-cast version of this production at the legendary Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC. He will be joined on selected songs by a youth chorus and an African-American church choir ….
“Other Civil War programs will includes presentations on the Battle of Shiloh (May 14th), Civil War medicine (marking the reconstruction of the former Confederate hospital in Wilson), and Civil War quilting (May 21st), Italian participation in the Civil War (May 25th), and African-American involvement in espionage during the War (May 28th).
“Accompanying the Civil War quilting program will be a display of quilts, including Civil War-era pieces and quilts mounted on the outside of buildings in Wilson’s historic downtown district. In addition, throughout May Wilson County Public Library [http://wilsoncountypubliclibrary.sirsi.net/client/default] will display the Freedom, Sacrifice, Memory: Civil War Sesquicentennial Photography Exhibit [http://news.ncdcr.gov/2011/01/27/freedom-sacrifice-memory-civil-war-sesquicentennial-photography-exhibit/], organized by the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources [http://www.ncdcr.gov/].
“The Barbecue Bash, a smash hit the past two seasons, will return on May 21st, under the direction of legendary pitmaster Ed Mitchell of Raleigh’s The Pit [http://www.thepit-raleigh.com/]. For the first time, Ed’s ‘Carolina Throwdown’ ribs will be served during the evening session of the Bash, which will also feature wine tasting and live music by Easy Street. Chef Jason Smith of 18 Seaboard [http://www.18seaboard.com/] and Cantina 18 [http://www.cantina18.com/] in Raleigh will be on hand for a cooking demonstration on May 14th.”
For a complete schedule of theatrical performances and related events, click http://www.theateroftheamericansouth.org/events.html.
SECOND OPINION: May 8th Raleigh, NC News & Observer preview by Roy C. Dicks: http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/05/08/1180750/wilson-theater-festival-goes-back.html.
The Theater of the American South presents THE CIVIL WAR IN SONG & LEGEND, featuring Bill Schustik, at 8 p.m. May 12 and 14, 2 p.m. May 15, 8 p.m. May 19, 2 p.m. May 21, 7:30 p.m. May 22, 8 p.m. May 26, and 2 p.m. May 28 and 29 at the Edna Boykin Cultural Center, 108 W. Nash St., Wilson, North Carolina 27893.
TICKETS: $20 ($18 students and seniors 60+).
BOX OFFICE: 252/291-4329, ext. 10, or http://www.etix.com/.
FESTIVAL SCHEDULE: http://www.theateroftheamericansouth.org/events.html.
The Play: http://www.billschustik.com/shows/show03.html (official web page).
Bill Schustik: http://www.billschustik.com/ (official website).
Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This preview is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review.
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