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Motlow State Community College
P.O. Box 8500
Lynchburg, TN 37352-8500
(931) 393-1500

Motlow Theatre Department will perform "Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge" later this month

April 7, 2014

Motlow College theatre department students will present the play "Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge" from April 24-27, according to Jeannie Gallant, assistant professor of communications at the college and director of the play.

Members of the theatre department at Motlow College will be featured in the annual spring drama, "Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge". Seated, front row from left: Megan Bearden, Elle, Elizabeth Daniels, Kurt Krause, and Sheila Mason. Standing, from left: Zeb Swerske, Brenden Taylor, Luke Miller, Savannah Lynch, Jeanna Anderson, and Rachel Judge. Performers not pictured are D'Angelo Brown, Laura Munn, Jarret Summers, and Andrew Curry.
The production will be held in Powers Auditorium inside Eoff Hall on the Motlow Moore County campus. Evening performances will take place Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and a matinee performance is scheduled for Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

Admission is $12 for adults and $6 for all students. To make reservations call the Motlow box office at 931-393-1627. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Motlow business office in the Ingram Administration building on campus and will also be available at the door.

"Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge" is a musical based on the Irish classic "Playboy of the Western World" by John Millington Synge. The music was composed by Peter Mills from a book by Peter Mills and Cara Reichel. The setting of the original story by Synge took place in rural Ireland in the early 1900s, but Mills and Reichel updated the setting to 1930s Appalachia, with the music now set to a bluegrass score. It was first presented by Prospect Theater Company at the 59E59 Theaters in New York City in 2009.

The central theme revolves around a love triangle set during the great depression. The action takes place in a remote mountain community cabin owned by a moonshiner named J.M. McFarlane. Additional characters include McFarlane's daughter Maggie; Hazel Grubs, who is a miller in the town; and Luther Coffey, who is a local farmer and also Maggie's fiancè.

The action is spurred by the arrival of a stranger, Clayton Monroe; a self-proclaimed fugitive of the law who becomes a caretaker of the cabin and of Maggie. Clayton confesses to have killed his abusive father, and the townspeople take kindly to him, as does Maggie even though she is days away from her wedding to Luther.

The production will feature the various talents of many Motlow students. Sheila Mason, who plays the character Hazel, has been singing professional bluegrass gospel for most of her life. Elizabeth Daniels, who plays Maggie, performed on the Motlow stage last year in the show "Latte Boy". Luke Miller, who performs the role of Clayton, plans to study voice after graduating from Motlow and is an experienced stage singer.

The show will also feature live acoustic music by well-known bluegrass musicians in the Lincoln County area.

"Bluegrass music is one of my favorites," said Gallant. "The music, especially the lead song, 'Golden Boy,' is memorable and a crowd favorite. The love story is sweet, but the comedy is great as well. The writer did an amazing job telling the story through the songs.

"I heard about it at the New York Theater Festival and saw it at the Playhouse in Crossville," added Gallant. "I fell in love with it because the characters are so likable and memorable."

Ann Baldwin is directing the music, and Melanie Malsom and Marie Pollock are costume directors. Additional cast and crew members include Megan Bearden, Kurt Krause, Zeb Swerske, Brenden Taylor, Luke Miller, Savannah Lynch, Jeanna Anderson, Rachel Judge, D'Angelo Brown, Laura Munn, Jarrett Summers, Justin Duke, Ethan Northcutt and Andrew Curry.

Activities will begin each evening at 6:30 p.m. when the McFarland General Store will open and sell fried pies, fudge and Moon Pies. A musical jam session will be held each evening, where the audience can meet the cast and bring their instruments to play with the cast.

For more information about the Motlow theatre department, contact Jeannie Gallant by email at or by calling 931-393-1730.