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Showing posts with label Lenoir. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lenoir. Show all posts

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Gary Carden's play, Birdell, a smashing success for Netwest



Live theater came to Murphy, NC last night with Bobbie Curtis, actress from Lenoir, NC emerging from behind a black curtin as Birdell Tolley, octogenarian, outside her mountain cabin. At first she seemed a bit nutty, but in moments the audience was enamured with this small woman with the long white hair, telling in her delightful mountain twang, the story of her life beginning as a young girl falling in love with the man she married when she was an innocent fifteen.
Although we lacked a professional stage setup and had no back drop, Bobbie's props were perfectly placed for her act. Once Birdell was on stage and speaking, the missing set was forgotten and the listeners were caught up in the spell that is Birdell.
We learned about the early 20th century history of western North Carolina in that hour with Birdell.
I was asked after the play, "How did he know this woman? Did he interview her to know so many details about her life?"
Bobbie Curtis made the woman come alive on the stage and some thought she had to have been a real person, not a character made up in Carden's mind.
Others said, "It is hard to think a man can write about a woman and understand how she would have these deep feelings."
When my eyes filled and spilled, I thought it had to be because I'm an emotional mess these days, but I glanced around and saw others mopping away their tears as well. Within minutes, Bobbie Curtis changed the mood and had us laughing over some wild tale Birdy's husband used to tell. My favorite was the swinette he described to the TVA man.
We are all sorry Gary couldn't be with us last night. That would have been icing on the cake -- to hear how he came to write this play. Maybe we can persuade Gary to give us some background here on the blog.
Thank you, Gary and thank you Bobbie Curtis.
And many thanks to our Cherokee County Netwest members.
We'd love to hear from anyone who has seen Birdell. Please comment and tell us what you think.