As part of the school’s yearlong “Celebration of Appalachia” symposium, the “Mountain Jack” performances will take place at 7:00 p.m., Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, April 19-21, and at 2 p.m., Sunday, April 22.
All shows will take place outside Harman Chapel on the campus lawn with seating provided on hay bales and benches. Participants are also invited to bring lawn chairs or blankets to view the play. In the event of inclement weather, performances will be moved inside to the stage of the Harman Chapel. Admission will be $10 for adults and $5 for non-BC students and senior citizens.
“This is going to be a very different kind of Bluefield College production,” said Charles Reese, associate professor of theatre arts and director of BC’s Mountain Jack. “With the outdoor venue and live music we are trying to create a spontaneous, improvisational quality that is in keeping with the loose oral history traditions of Appalachian storytelling.”
A new adaptation of the beloved “Jack Tales,” BC’s “Mountain Jack” is a rollicking production of Appalachian folk tales and rousing mountain music. Reese, along with current and former Bluefield College students — including Grey Bates, Mindy Blume, Jennifer Bohannan, Jacob Coleman, Sam Corker, Amber Koppler, Della Limbert, Jonathan Penn, Ben Shumate, David Somerville, and Katherine Santschi — will provide the program’s storytelling.
The live music will be provided by BC musicians Charles Priest on banjo, Tad Schuler on bass, Della Limbert on fiddle, and Rebecca McCoy Reese on guitar.
“We want Mountain Jack to be vital and fun,” said Charles Reese. “It is not a museum piece preserving a past culture, but an exciting living reminder that the Appalachian culture is alive and well.”
BC’s “Mountain Jack” is just one event in a yearlong symposium, titled “A Celebration of Appalachia” and featuring lectures, concerts, exhibits, discussions, movies, theatre, tours and other educational and entertaining activities designed to honor the Appalachian heritage.
Final events on the “Celebration of Appalachia” schedule this spring include an Eva Easley Quilt Dedication, Friday, April 20 at noon in Easley Library recognizing the significant contributions of the late Eva Easley to the success of Bluefield College, and an Instrumental Music Concert featuring Appalachian music by BC’s Concert Band, Community Orchestra, and Jazz Ensemble, Tuesday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. in Harman Chapel.
For more information about “Mountain Jack” or other Bluefield College symposium events, contact the BC Office of Public Relations by phone at 276-326-4212 or by e-mail at [email protected]