Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights Winners Announced09.16.2005
ABINGDON, VA — Barter Theatre has announced the winners of the fifth annual Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights (AFPP). First place went to My River, My Valley by Ron Osborne, second place to The Quiltmaker by Catherine Bush, and third place to Kentucky Wings by Robert Leland Taylor. Finalists included Tortured, or The Blessed Mothers of War by Ty DeMartino, Smokin' Devils by Stacey Isom, and Little Sorrows by Margaret Baker. Barter Theatre professionals chose these six plays from among almost 100 submissions.
Because of overwhelmingly positive response, My River, My Valley will go straight to full production in Barter Theatre's 2006 season. The Quiltmaker is slotted for mini-production and Kentucky Wings is a candidate for mini-production during the 2006 AFPP.
This year's AFPP achieved record attendance numbers. The mini-production of Man of Constant Sorrow: The Story of the Stanley Brothers was the most attended play in AFPP history. After receiving further development, the show reopened as a full production at Barter Stage II.
Man of Constant Sorrow has also been booked for a regional tour. Performances are set Oct. 20 at 8 p.m. at the Paramount Center for the Arts in Bristol ($10-$13) and Saturday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. at The Lincoln Theatre in Marion, VA ($20), among others. The musical follows the struggle of the Stanley Brothers from their humble beginnings on local TV and radio to the formation of the Clinch Mountain Boys, on through Carter's untimely death and Ralph's national prominence when he is named Best Male Country Vocalist and the soundtrack of Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? wins Album of the Year.
Barter is also planning to put the show on a national tour and is considering it for production of the theatre's second-ever original cast recording, after the recent release of "Keep on the Sunny Side: The Songs and Stories of the Original Carter Family."
Not only does the annual AFPP provide one avenue through which Barter selects some of its upcoming season's plays, but for many of the winning plays, the festival is just the beginning of recognition for the play and playwright. First Baptist of Ivy Gap, also by this year's first-place winner Ron Osborne, saw a successful run at Barter, has now been produced at other theatres across the country, and is in the process of being published. Samuel French in New York has already published Wise Women, which debuted at the 2003 AFPP. The successful run of The Other Side of the Mountain inspired author Catherine Bush to write a trilogy based on the characters of Mud Creek, KY. The Quiltmaker is the second installment.
Perhaps the most recognizable success to emerge from the AFPP is Keep on the Sunny Side: The Songs and Stories of the Original Carter Family. Because of its national tour, over 100,000 people in 23 states have seen the play, and thanks to Barter's first-ever original cast recording, countless others have heard its music. Barter is currently selling the script to other theatres for production.
The AFPP takes place each year at Barter Theatre during the first two weeks in August. For information on submitting plays, contact Derek Davidson at 276-619-3316. For tickets and show times, call 276-628-3991.