By Liberty Mountain, Jul 14 2017 08:25PM
By Robert Inman
July 9, 2017
As we get ready for the final weekend of our fourth season of “Liberty Mountain: The Revolutionary Drama” at the Joy Performance Center in Kings Mountain, I wanted to share some of the responses from our audiences this year. We’ve enjoyed a substantial increase in attendance overall, and the audiences have increased in size as we’ve gone through the season. Director Caleb Sigmon and I enjoy meeting folks who come to see our play and hearing what they have to say about our production.
One of the most interesting comments I got last weekend was from a high school history teacher who remarked about how the Battle of Kings Mountain – and indeed the entire Southern campaign in the Revolution – is neglected in our history books. We read and study a lot about what the battles in New England, like Saratoga and Brandywine and Bunker Hill. But more and more, historians agree that what happened in the South largely determined the outcome of the war. With the conflict in New England in a stalemate in 1780, the British turned south, with the goal of conquering the Carolinas and Virginia and then trapping the Continental Army between their forces moving north and those striking from New York.
Kings Mountain and the battles that followed changed all that, disrupting the British plans and leading directly to the British surrender in 1781. Yorktown, where it all ended, is in Virginia, not New England. Folks from our neck of the woods turned the tide.
That history teacher I talked with was adamant about more people in our neck of the woods needing to know and appreciate that history. It’s our story, our legacy. “Liberty Mountain” helps, but we also need to teach it more in school. One of our major efforts the past few months has been to prepare good lesson materials for teachers and make them available for free online. They can be accessed through our website: www.libertymountaindrama.com. We hope a lot of teachers will take advantage.
We’ve also gotten a lot of good comments about the changes in our production this season. We’ve added graphics and video to help tell the story, using every tool at our disposal to capture the attention of our audiences. We’re seeing more and more young audience members at our performances, and young people are visually oriented. So we need to tell the story in ways that appeal to them.
Finally, we’ve gotten a lot of great compliments about our cast. We have a talented group of actors each year – some who’ve been with us since our premier in 2014, but many who join us every year for the first time. Our cast and crew have come together as a true theatre family this year, and our audiences can sense that from their performances on stage. My hat is off to each and every one – cast, crew and volunteers – for overcoming difficulties, working tirelessly, and making this our best season ever.
You have one more chance to see the magic they’re making on stage. Our final weekend includes Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30, Saturday and Sunday afternoons at 3:00. Visit our website for information and online ticket ordering, along with our Facebook page. We look forward to seeing you at the Joy and hearing from you after the performance.